Vincent Pepi is an Abstract Expressionist painter associated with the New York School. His contribution to American art includes some of the foremost examples of action painting, produced consistently over the course of the second half of the 20th century. His art parallels the works of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Conrad Marca-Relli and others. He adapted the automatic techniques of the Surrealists and transformed it into his own kind of gesture painting. Vincent Pepi studied at Cooper Union and Pratt Institute. In 1949 he went to Rome, Italy. His academically trained teacher in Italy, Beppe Guzzi, helped him to incorporate rigorous discipline into his painting, as well as introducing him to a number of important Italian painters and sculptors. Three years later, in 1951, Pepi joined with many of the innovators of Action Painting in New York City. Upon his return to the United States, Pepi studied briefly with Hans Hofmann. Along with other first generation Abstract Expressionists, he showed his work at the Stable Gallery in 1953 and at the March Gallery on Tenth Street, from 1955 until its closing in 1960. Pepi attended the "Artists' Club" from time to time, but preferred his own studio and a more solitary existence. Pepi defines himself as an academic artist, but one who felt he had to take that "main highway between Cézanne and Kandinsky". His paintings do indeed, reveal a Cézanne-like underpinning of abstract structure, while adopting the free improvisatory phase of Kandinsky at the same time. It is the revelation of the unconscious that Pepi seeks in his work. He wants his work to be spontaneous and uncontrived. Pepi’s work is in numerous private and public collections including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Pepi is included in an important survey compiled in 2000 by Marika Herskovic, The New York School Abstract Expressionists: Artists Choice by Artists.
Pepi’s 2016 exhibition at the Quogue Gallery was ranked as one of the “Best Exhibitions on East End 2016” by Hamptons Art Hub. About the exhibition, Hamptons Art Hub wrote, “A stunning chromatic extravaganza from a living link to the abstract expressionist movement that made Manhattan the capital of the art world.”