February 3 – April 17, 2021
February 3 – April 17, 2021
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to announce the gallery’s fourth online viewing room, Allan D'Arcangelo: Drawings. Opening on Wednesday, February 3, 2021, the exhibition features a selection of Allan D'Arcangelo’s works on paper, all made between 1964 and 1967.
The artist’s career spanned half a century, but his works of the 1960s—powerful meditations on the nature of the built environment and its effects on the national psyche—remain his most iconic. The nine works included in this exhibition offer a rare glimpse into the medium and process through which this body of work was shaped.
Study for Proposition #18 (1966) is dominated by two curving, antiparallel red arrows that trace each other like the two halves of Yin and Yang. A small roadscape is positioned at the center of the composition, interrupting what look like preparatory guides for vanishing-point perspective. As in other works, D'Arcangelo simplifies the landscape, reducing it to the simple graphics of a traffic sign. The boundary between the natural and man-made environment is blurred.
John Berger, in his critiques of paintings like Thomas Gainsborough’s Mr and Mrs Andrews (c. 1748), drew attention to the inextricable link between European landscape painting and the proprietary attitudes of the continent’s landlord classes. In a similar way, the imagery D’Arcangelo explores comes straight out of American pragmatism. Roads race to infinity, instrumentalizing the horizon. The landscape's topographical features—curves, bends, and bumps—are converted into symbolic warnings that populate D'Arcangelo’s works like the onomatopoeic exclamations of a Lichtenstein painting. America’s landscapes and road systems have always been richly symbolic, reflecting the country’s preoccupation with freedom, exploration, expansion, and domination. D’Arcangelo’s works embrace the subject’s monotony, optimism, and poetry.
In Untitled (1964), D’Arcangelo divides the work into a two-by-two matrix. Each section repeats the same scene, with varying details. The four panels read like different attempts at completing a fleeting and incomplete image, as if peripherally glimpsed at high speed. Landscape, highway, and signage trade graphical languages, colors, and elements, mixing in the composition as they often do in the mind.
As D'Arcangelo’s Pop contemporaries turned their attention to mass culture’s imagery of celebrity, advertising, and consumer products, the artist turned his attention to America’s road system. America’s roads have, for centuries, served as potent, symbolically ambivalent subjects of art, poetry, fiction, and music.
Throughout his career, D’Arcangelo had solo-exhibitions at many prominent institutions, including: Fischbach Gallery (1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, and 1969, New York); Ileana Sonnabend Gallery (1965, Paris); Dwan Gallery (1966, Los Angeles); Marlborough Gallery (1971, 1975, New York); Institute of Contemporary Art (1971, Philadelphia); Neuberger Museum of Art, State University of New York (1978, Purchase); Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (1979, Richmond); Burchfield Center (1979, Buffalo); Grace Borgenicht Gallery (1982, New York); and Mitchell-Innes & Nash (2009, New York). In 2005, a retrospective of his work opened in Modena, Italy at the Palazzina dei Giardini.
D’Arcangelo’s paintings are featured in the collections of many museums, including: the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Art Institute of Chicago; Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo; Centre Georges Pompidou; Dallas Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution; Museum of Modern Art; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; the Walker Art Center; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to represent the Estate of Allan D’Arcangelo.
Allan D'Arcangelo: Drawings will be available to view online, through April 17, 2021. For more information, please contact Garth Greenan at (212) 929-1351, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.