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 Giorgio Cavallon  (1904 - 1989)

About: Giorgio Cavallon
 

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: abstract expression-geometric painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Giorgio Cavallon
Facts/Data
Birth
1904 (Sorio, Italy)
 
Death
1989

Lived/Active
New York

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abstract expression-geometric painting

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Modernism
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Sorio, near Vicenza, Italy, abstract painter Georgio Cavallon was influenced early in his career by Dutch modernist Piet Mondrian. In New York City during the 1930s and 1940s, he was closely associated with Arshile Gorky, William De Kooning, and other abstract expressionists. The geometric forms in relatively later work such as "Untitled,"1959, in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, have been compared to the color shapes of the early work of Matisse.

Since the late 1960s and 1970s, Cavallon has framed his surfaces with small, dark shapes in order to control the large, unified rectangles of light color.
Cavallons paintings have been described as exuding a subtle, atmospheric light reminiscent of Mediterranean villages.

Cavallon first came to the United States with his family in 1906 but returned to Italy in 1910 following the death of his mother. At age 16, Cavallon again emigrated to the United States and undertook an art education. He attended the National Academy of Design from 1926 to 1930, and studied with Charles W. Hawthorne in Provincetown during the summer of 1927. From 1934 to 1936, he studied at the Hans Hoffman School of Fine Arts in the evenings. Cavallon received the first of many solo exhibitions at the ACA Gallery in New York in 1934.

During the mid-1930s, the artist joined the WPA Federal Art Project, and worked for a time as an assistant to abstract painter Arshile Gorky. He was a founding member of American Abstract Artists, an organization in which he was involved from 1936 to 1957.



Source: "300 Years of American Art" , Michael Zellman.

Biography from ACME Fine Art:
Giorgio Cavallon
1904-1989

Education:
Summer study with Charles W. Hawthorne Provincetown, MA
National Academy of Design New York, NY
Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art, New York, NY

Awards:
Louis Comfort Tiffany Fellowship
John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship

Selected Exhibitions:
Biennale, Ca'Pesaro Venice, Italy, 1932
Bottega d'Arte Vicenza, Italy, 1932
A.C.A. Gallery New York, NY, 1934
American Art Today, New York World's Fair New York, NY, 1939
Eighth Street Playhouse Gallery New York, NY, 1940
Egan Gallery New York, NY, 1946, 1948, 1951, 1954
Post-Abstract Painters, France, America, Hawthorne Memorial Gallery
Provincetown, MA, 1950
Young Painters in the U.S. and France, Sidney Janis Gallery New York, 1950
Abstract Art in America, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY, 1951
Drawings and Watercolors, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY, 1952
Italy Rediscovered, Munson-Williams Proctor Institute, Utica, NY, 1955
University of North Carolina, Greensboro Greensboro, NC, 1956
Stable Gallery New York, NY, 1957, 1959
Whitney Museum Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY, 1959, 1961, 1965
Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, IL, 1959, 1961, 1965
Documenta II, Kassel, Germany, 1959
Five Contemporary Painters in a Twenty-Five Year Retrospective, Camino
Gallery New York, NY, 1959
60 American Painters, Walker Art Center Minneapolis, MN, 1960
Kootz Gallery, New York, NY, 1961, 1963, 1965
American Abstract Expressionists and Imagists, The Solomon R. Guggenheim
Museum, New York, NY, 1961
Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, PA, 1959, 1961, 1962
Art in Embassies, Museum of Modern Art Bogota, Colombia, 1963, 1964
Fourteen Americans, Abstract Watercolors, Museum of Modern Art, New York,
NY, 1963
Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture, Krannert Art Museum
University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 1963
Recent American Paintings, Art Museum, University of Texas Austin, TX, 1964
Weatherspoon Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC, 1964
Large Scale American Paintings, The Jewish Museum New York, NY, 1966
Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Philadelphia, PA, 1966
From Synchronism Forward- A View of Abstract Art in America, The American
Federation of Arts Circulating Exhibition, 1968
The 1930's, Painting and Sculpture in America, The Whitney Museum of
American Art New York, NY, 1968
Betty Parsons Private Collection, Finch College Museum New York, NY, 1968
Painting as Painting, The Art Museum University of Texas, Austin, TX, 1968
A.M. Sachs Gallery, New York, NY, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1976
American Geometric Abstraction/ 1930's, Zabriskie Gallery, American Federation of Arts, New York, NY, 1972
Bicentennial Exhibition, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, D.C., 1976
Patricia Learmonth, Gallery New York, NY, 1977
Gruenebaum Gallery, New York, NY, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1986
Three Italo-American Artists, Peggy Guggenheim Collection Venice, Italy;
Castello Svevo, Bari, Italy, 1988
Paintings: 1952-1989, Manny Silverman Gallery Los Angeles, CA, 1989
Paintings from the 1960's, Jason McCoy Inc. New York, NY, 1989
The Provocative Years 1935-1945: Hans Hofmann School and Its Students in
Provincetown, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA, 1990
Giorgio Cavallon (1904-1989): A Retrospective View, The William Benton
Museum of Art University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, 1990
Paintings from the 1950's, Jason McCoy Inc. New York, NY, 1990
Watercolors, Jason McCoy Inc. New York, NY, 1991
Giorgio Cavallon and Giuseppe Santomaso, Manny Silverman Gallery Los
Angeles, CA, 1991
Summer Group Show, Jason McCoy Inc. New York, NY, 1991
Baruch College Art Gallery, New York, NY, 1992
Seven Paintings from the 1950's, Jason McCoy Inc. New York, NY, 1996


Biography from Hollis Taggart Galleries (Artists, A-D):
Born in Sorio, Italy, in 1904, Giorgio Cavallon immigrated to the United States in 1920 after the death of his mother four years prior. In the early 1920s the teenage artist received private art instruction in Worcester, Massachusetts, and following these initial studies, in 1926 he enrolled in the National Academy of Design in New York. The next summer he traveled to Provincetown, where he thrived in its rich artistic community, studying with Charles Hawthorne and even cooking meals alongside Hans Hofmann.

Due to his experiences in Provincetown, Cavallon developed a sense of shared artistic goals and communal spirit that he carried throughout his career. In 1936 Cavallon joined other like-minded artists in founding the American Abstract Artists group, with whom he exhibited yearly until 1957. A charter member of The Club, in 1949 he participated in the Ninth Street Show, and the following year Leo Castelli selected his work to appear in the exhibition, "Young Painters in the U.S. and France," at Sidney Janis Gallery. As part of the FDR’s New Deal program, Cavallon participated in the Easel and Mural Division of the WPA Federal Art Project, serving as Arshile Gorky’s assistant.

In the 1930s, the artist’s work received public attention and critical acclaim: in Venice in 1932 Cavallon had his first solo exhibition, and two years later he received another one-man show, at ACA Gallery, New York. In the 1940s and 1950s, the artist continued to refine his signature style. Represented by the venerable Egan Gallery and later by the Kootz Gallery, both in New York, Cavallon mounted numerous solo exhibitions, and participated in several group shows, including Documenta II, the 1959 Whitney Annual, and the Museum of Modern Art’s 1951 exhibition, "Abstract Art in America."

Cavallon’s works are included in major museums and corporate collections across the United States, such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y.; Fogg Museum, Harvard University; Chase Manhattan Bank; Prudential Insurance Company; and the I.B.M. Corporation. In 1988 the artist was inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In proposing Cavallon for membership, the artist Robert Motherwell delivered an eloquent tribute to his friend and colleague:

“One of the rarest phenomena in regards to creative artists in the twentieth century is to sustain, over more than fifty years, a level of accomplishments that is as strong at the end as it was at the beginning and the middle. Giorgio Cavallon has done just that to the admiration of all his fellow artists. His Italianate sensitivity to radiating color, his subtle but implacable sense of form and his personal identity (one recognizes a Cavallon from one hundred feet away), makes him, in my opinion, one of the most underestimated artists, outside narrow art circles, working in America today. His vigor and devotion over so long a period of time are stunning.“

1. All citations from "Giorgio Cavallon, 1904-1989, A Retrospective View." Storrs, Conn.: William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, 1990.

© Copyright 2008 Hollis Taggart Galleries

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