Lawrence Calcagno

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lawrence Calcagno
Born(1913-03-23)March 23, 1913
DiedApril 28, 1993(1993-04-28) (aged 80)
Known forPainting
MovementAbstract expressionism;

Lawrence Calcagno (1913–1993) was a San Francisco Bay area abstract expressionist painter.[1] He described his artistic motivation in the following words[2]

"Painting was the one avenue through which I could find psychical tolerance and be released. My life has always been motivated not by intellectual or rational considerations but more by a subjective compulsion, by what I love."


Lawrence Calcagno was born on March 23, 1913 in Potrero Hill, San Francisco, CA. His parents, Vincent and Anna de Rosa Calcagno were Italian immigrants. At age ten he moved to the family ranch-homestead in the Santa Lucia Mountains, Monterey County where he spent the following ten years.[3] In 1935 he left the homestead and joined the merchant marines and traveled all the way to Asia.

Military Service in World War II[edit]

In 1941 at the beginning of World War II Calcagno joined the United States Army Air Corps, where he served for three years. During his service he was recognized as an artist. His drawing titled: "Watch in the Night" won first prize in the national Army art contest in the Southwest Regional competition.[4]

Journey to self discovery[edit]

Benefiting from the G.I. Bill in 1947 Lawrence Calcagno enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA. His teachers were Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still along with instructors, Edward Corbett and Richard Diebenkorn. In 1950 he left California School of Fine Arts for Europe. He went to Paris, France to study at L’Academie de la Grande Chaumiere. In 1951 he went to Florence to study the Renaissance. He enrolled at the Instituto d’Arte Statale.

Teaching positions and Fellowships[edit]

In 1956 Calcagno accepted the position of assistant professor in the art department at the Albright Art School in the University at Buffalo, New York where he stayed until 1958. He went on to teach from 1958 to 1959 at the University of Illinois, Urbana. In 1960 he moved to New York and became a part-time instructor at New York University. In 1965 Calcagno became Andrew Mellon Professor in Painting at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he stayed until 1968. Calcagno was a fellow at the McDowell and Yaddo artist colonies in 1960s.

Selected Solo Exhibitions[edit]

Selected group exhibitions[edit]

Lawrence Calcagno died on April 28, 1993 in State College, PA, while visiting relatives.

Paintings in Museums and Public collections[edit]


  • Marika Herskovic, American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s An Illustrated Survey, (New York School Press, 2003.) ISBN 0-9677994-1-4. pp. 66–69
  • Suzan Campbell, Lawrence Calcagno, Albuquerque Museum, Journey without end : the life and art of Lawrence Calcagno (Albuquerque, N.M. : Albuquerque Museum, ©2000)
  • Susan Landauer, Laguna Beach Museum of Art, The San Francisco school of abstract expressionism : [this book serves as a catalogue for an exhibition organized by the Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California; Laguna Art Museum, 27 January - 21 April 1996; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 18 July - 8 September 1996 (Berkeley, Calif. : Univ. of California Press [u.a.], 1996.) ISBN 0-520-08610-4 pp. 14, 226n30, 237n14, 216n78, 228n59,220n2765, 221n36.
  • Thomas Albright, Art in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-1980 : an illustrated history (Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, 1985) ISBN 0-520-05193-9 pp. 39, 44, 266


  1. ^ Tomas Albright, ‘’Art in the San Francisco Bay area, 1945-1980 : an illustrated history’’ (Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, ©1985.) ISBN 0-520-05193-9 pp. 39
  2. ^ Marika Herskovic, American abstract expressionism of the 1950s : an illustrated survey : with artists' statements, artwork and biographies pp. 66
  3. ^ Suzan Campbell; Lawrence Calcagno; Albuquerque Museum, Journey without end : the life and art of Lawrence Calcagno
  4. ^ Suzan Campbell; Lawrence Calcagno; Albuquerque Museum, Journey without end : the life and art of Lawrence Calcagno pp. 15-49
  5. ^ "Empire State Plaza Art Collection". Retrieved 21 November 2018.

External links[edit]