Allan D'Arcangelo, American (1930 - 1998)

Allan D'Arcangelo was born in Buffalo, New York. He earned a degree in history from the University of Buffalo and then moved to Mexico City where he studied art and, in 1958, had his first one-man show. His style, loosely termed "hard edge" or constructivist art, is based on spatial relationships. A keen sense of perception, complemented by expert use of color tones and shadows, points up these relationships in forceful compositions.

It has been said that D'Arcangelo "has the ability to defy, yet document, spatial relationships at the same time." The recipient of fifteen awards and commissions, D 'Arcangelo has had frequent one-man shows, many of which traveled to prominent museums throughout America. His work appears in more than thirty public collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Detroit Institute of Art, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

His reputation as a Pop artist was established by his first New York one-man exhibition in 1963 where he showed his first acrylic paintings of the American highway and industrial landscape, such as Highway U.S. 1 – No. 3 (1963; Richmond, VA Mus. F.A.). Such large-scale canvases visually transported the viewer through a time sequence, as if traveling along a highway, catching glimpses of trees, dividing lines, signs and route markers. In subsequent works D’Arcangelo continued to examine the American landscape both as directly experienced and in the form of generalized contemporary symbols. An essentially flat and impersonal style allowed him to suggest an illusionistic space without sacrificing the viewer’s consciousness of the picture plane. This ambiguity between real and fictive space is further enforced in works such as Guard Rail (1964; Richmond, VA, S. and F. Lewis priv. col.) by the attachment of real objects such as rear-view mirrors or cyclone fences.


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