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 Lawrence Calcagno  (1913 - 1993)

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Lived/Active: New York/California      Known for: abstract expressionist painting, modernist-leaning landscape

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Lawrence Calcagno
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Biography from Anita Shapolsky Gallery:
Lawrence Calcagno was born on March 23, 1913 in San Francisco, and passed away at the age of 80, in 1993.  He began painting at the age of 19, and continued to use the medium throughout his life to describe the world around him.  After serving in WW11, he painted in Paris under the G.I. Bill.

Calcagno began to show in San Francisco and New York as part of the second generation of Abstract Expressionist painters.  His style ranges from meditative linear abstract landscapes to free-form abstract expressionism.  Calcagno’s color palette and compositions resonate with saturated oranges and reds of the California landscape. His minimalist pieces fade in and out of focus like San Francisco fog, where shapes and forms play off the subconscious.

Larry Calcagno has work in many major museum collections throughout the United States, and is highly prized in private collections. He has just concluded several museum exhibitions around the country.  Catalogue Journey Without End: The Life & Work of Lawrence Calcagno is available.

Calcagno studied at the California School of Fine Art in San Francisco and was awarded first prize in painting from the San Francisco Museum of Fine Art.  Later he studied at Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris Institute d'Arte Statale Floreiree.

LAWRENCE CALCAGNO showings - Catalogued Exhibitions

Special Collection
Friday, November 14, 1997 - Saturday, January 10, 1998
Anita Shapolsky Gallery, 152 East 65th Street, New York, New York 10021, United States

1992 Anderson Gallery, Buffalo, NY
1987 Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York
1984 Foundations Gallery New York, Roanoke Museum of Fine Art Roanoke, VA
1983 The New Gallery, Taos, NM
1983 New Gallery, Taos, NM Traveling Retrospective, Nine regional museums
1982 The New Gallery, Taos, NM Traveling Retrospective, Nine0 regional museums
1978 Stables Gallery, Taos, NM
1977 Yares Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
1976 Contemporary Art Center, Honolulu,HI
1973 -1975 Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Solo traveling exhibition: “ Permutations: Earth, Sea, Sky”
1970-1972 Meredith Long Houston Galleries, Houston, TX
1968-1969 Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, HI Meredith Long Houston Galleries, Houston, TX
1967 Westmoreland County Museum of Art, Greensburg, PA
1966 Ester Robles Gallery, Los Angles, Ca
1965 Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
1962 Martha Jackson Gallery New York, NY
1961 Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, Mexico
McRobert and Tunnard Gallery, London, England
1960 Martha Jackson Gallery New York, NY
Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
1959 Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL
University of Illinois, Urbana, IL



Biography from Canfield Gallery:
Lawrence Calcagno was born in San Francisco in 1913 and grew up on his father's ranch near Big Sur in a remote part of California.  During his formative years he was isolated from society and the conventional experiences that mold the values and images of an individual's world.

He began to draw at an early age, learning from nature and developing the strong empathy and awareness of its forces that marked his later work.  He was self-taught until after World War II when he studied painting under the G.I. Bill in San Francisco with Clyfford Still, and in Paris and Florence.  He soon developed a personal imagery of abstract metaphors of nature.

Calcagno began showing in Paris at the Facchetti Gallery in 1952.  He met Martha Jackson in 1953, and the next year participated in a show at her legendary gallery in New York.  During that spring Martha Jackson visited Paris where Calcagno introduced her to the painters John Hultberg, Sam Francis and others whose work she later collected and exhibited.

When Calcagno returned to New York from five years in Europe, he had his first one-man show at the Martha Jackson Gallery.  He visited several universities as artist-in-residence--the University of Alabama, the Albright School of the University of Buffalo, and the University of Illinois.

During 1959-60, Calcagno taught at New York University and accompanied one-man exhibitions of his work to Lima, Peru, Mexico City, London, and Copenhagen.  In 1965 he was awarded a Ford Foundation grant and was named to the visiting Andrew Mellon Chair of Painting at Carnegie-Mellon University. He was visiting artist-in-residence at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 1968-69.  He was awarded fellowships by the Yaddo Foundation in Saratoga Springs, New York; the Macdowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire; and the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico.

The Smithsonian circulated an exhibition of Calcagno's works on paper during 1973-75.  In 1983, the Mitchell Museum in Mount Vernon, Illinois, organized a touring retrospective exhibition of his work that traveled to ten regional museums for two years.  During 1987, one-man exhibitions of his work were shown at the Harwood Foundation Museum in Taos, New Mexico; and at the Anita Shapolsky Gallery in New York City.

He was awarded a USIA - USSR Cultural Exchange grant in 1988 and traveled and lectured in Russia.  The National Endowment for the Arts honored Calcagno with a major painting grant in 1989.



Biography from Carlson Gallery:
Lawrence Calcagno attended the California School of Fine Arts, 1947-1950; lived and worked in France, Italy, and North Africa, 1950-1955; Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris, 1950-1951; Instituto d'Arte Statale, Florence, 1951-1952. Calcagno worked and studied independently in Paris, 1953-1955. Taught part-time at New York University, New York, 1960-1961; Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, 1965-1968. Received the National Endowment for the Arts Grant, 1989.

Solo Exhibitions: Little Gallery, New Orleans, 1945; Lucien Labaudt Gallery, San Francisco, 1948, 1954; Studio Paul Facchetti, Paris, 1955; Martha Jackson, New York, 1955, 1958, 1960, 1962; Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, 1956; Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, 1961; Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, 1965; Houston Museum of Fine Arts, 1965; Westmoreland County Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, 1967; Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1968, 1969; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1973-1975, traveling exhibition; Contemporary Art Center, Honolulu, 1976; others.

Selected Group Exhibitions: The Oakland Museum, California. A Period of Exploration: San Francisco 1945-1950; 1973;

Public Collections: The Oakland Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Literature: Susan Landauer, The School of San Francisco Abstract Expressionism; Thomas Albright, Art in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-1980; The Art of California, Selected Works from the Collection of The Oakland Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Painting and Sculpture Collection.


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Lawrence Calcagno is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Abstract Expressionism

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