Allan D'Arcangelo
Birth Date: June 16, 1930
Death Date: December 17, 1998
Artist Gallery
Allan D'Arcangelo was born in Buffalo in 1930, the son of Italian immigrants. He received a bachelor's degree in history at the University of Buffalo in 1953 and briefly considered law school. But an interest in culture drew him to Manhattan, where he studied writing at the New School and Education at City College and started visiting art galleries where he encountered the work of the Abstract Expressionists. After a brief stint in the Army in the mid-1950's, he used the G.I. Bill to study painting at Mexico City College for two years, returning to New York in 1959. Until then D’Arcangelo had worked in a roughly painted figurative style that had affinities to folk art. But he soon responded to the cool sensibility that was emerging in the work of artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. By the time of his first solo show, at the Fischbach Gallery in 1963, he had reduced his forms to geometric shapes and adopted as his subject the American highway, plunging toward the distant horizon between crisp straight lines. These works were well received and earned him a place in the first generation of Pop artists. His efforts were often linked to the American Precisionists and shared some of the graphic flatness of Hard-Edge paintings and the simple industrial forms of Minimalism. But they also had an air of slightly morose desolation and vastness. In the early 1970's, D'Arcangelo moved to his farm near Kenoza Lake, NY,where he continued to paint in a style that was at first more realistic and then became gradually rougher and more primitive. His life-long interest in ancient cultures was also expressed in a natural stone compass rose, or sun clock, measuring 40 feet in diameter, that he built on his land. D’Arcangelo passed away from leukemia in 1998. He was 68 and lived on an 80-acre farm in the Catskills, near Kenoza Lake, New York.