Perhaps not as well known as Tom Wesselmann, Roy Lichtenstein or even Andy Warhol, Allan D’Arcangelo (1930-1998) was a terribly accomplished American Pop artist who worked over a period of 50 years.
In keeping with the tradition of Pop Art, D’Arcangelo painted images of pop culture, but instead of illustrating a can of Coke or elements from a comic strip, D’Arcangelo made his mark in the early 1960s by focusing on the icons of the American landscape … whether on the land or in the air. So his iconic works depict street signs, highways, road barriers, airplane wings … even construction cranes.
There is something slightly surreal and quirky that attracts me to the present work. It has a good vibe and makes me smile. For one, I can certainly place myself in the airplane seat looking out onto the expansive sea of wooly clouds. If I just take a quick glance, the clouds even appear realistic. But what is obviously NOT realistic is the airplane wing … it’s cartoonish. This dichotomy is what D’Arcangelo really knows how to master.
D’Arcangelo is exhibited regularly, and his work is in the collections at the Met, MoMA, Guggenheim, Pompidou, Tate and many others. And while he may not be tirelessly splashed all over the newspapers like other artists, this is one artist the smart collecting connoisseur should quietly entertain.
image credit: © D’Arcangelo Family Partnership. The artist is represented by Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York. (top) Allan D’Arcangelo, Wing Two, 1982, acrylic on canvas 36.1/8 x 50 in. | 91.8 x 127 cm.; (bottom) Allan D’Arcangelo, Pike, 1976-77, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 48.1/4 x 66.1/4 in. | 122.6 x 168.3 cm.
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