Allan D'Arcangelo American, 1930-1998

“The sky, the tree line and the pavement all have the same quality, and it has to do with our separation from the natural world.”
-Allan D'Arcangelo


D'Arcangelo rejected Abstract Expressionism, though his early work has a painterly and somewhat expressive feel. Before D'Arcangelo returned to New York in 1959, his style was roughly figurative and reminiscent of folk artHe later turned to a style of art that seemed to border on Pop Art and Minimalism, Precisionism and Hard-Edge painting. Evidently, he didn't fit neatly in the category of Pop Art, though he shared subjects (women, signs, logos) and techniques (stencil, assemblage) with these artists. D'Arcangelo believed that a culture of protest and resistance was more meaningful than any aesthetic concerns and frequently chose to explore the American experience.


Aside from film stars and icons from pop culture, D'Arcangelo also turned to political matters. He touched on specific motifs in the contemporary American consciousness, such as President Kennedy's tragic death in Place of Assassination (1965). By the mid 1960s, D'Arcangelo had abandoned figurative elements and turned to the American landscape, or, more specifically, the highway. D'Arcangelo is better known for his pictures of highways and roadblocks, which pictured deep perspectival vistas in a simplified, flat plane, the view as seen from the driver's seat as one zooms along the seemingly never-ending American highway in most any state.  D'Arcangelo sought to investigate our separation from the natural world, which became more of a symbol than a description in these paintings.