Allan d' Arcangelo
47 x 55,9 x 47,6 cm (18 1/2 x 22 x 18 3/4 in.)
signed, dated, numbered 2/100 and inscribed '©‘ edition of 100
American artist Allan D'Arcangelo is most celebrated for his unique depiction of the modern American landscape, represented in particular by the United States' new highway system in the 1960s. D’Arcangelo imbues his flat, hard-edged landscapes with an almost romantic beauty, akin to a fusion of Pop and the sublime, simplifying his composition to a seemingly impersonal style that, when combined with his extreme perspectives, places the viewer into the position of driver in his highly illusionistic highways and geographies. Like many artists, including Edward Hopper, Ed Ruscha, and Ralston Crawford, D’Arcangelo found inspiration in the uniquely American highway system. From 1962 through the end of the decade the road was his most prominent subject, most often depicted disappearing into the horizon at the center of the composition, stretched out under blue skies and flanked on either side by the landscape. D’Arcangelo stressed the importance of the link between art and society, and wanted his art to contain a clearly defined social meaning. In an interview with Marco Livingstone, author of Pop Art: A Continuing History, he described his own work in relation to Medieval icons, which were “emblematic and hierarchical” and functioned as a form of visual communication with the public via a unique formal system. This sculpture from 1970 represents a fascinating extension of D’Arcangelo’s practice. Here, the artist has jumped from depictions of the road and its accoutrements on canvas to the use of the actual object—here, the bus mirror—as the support for his painting. The mirror contains a typical D’Arcangelo image of a single road disappearing into the horizon, but its reflective surface places the viewer squarely into this landscape. D’Arcangelo’s experimentations in fusing painting and found object sculpture also include "Guard Rail" (1964), a canvas to which a section of chain link fence has been attached, and "Minnesota Morning" (1978), a small painting that is seen as if through a windshield, complete with actual windshield wiper. His work is in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne.