The exhibition is the artist’s first in almost a decade. Eight of D’Arcangelo’s bold, enigmatic abstract paintings will be on view, some of which have never before been exhibited. A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition, with essays by Alex J. Taylor and John Yau.
The exhibition and its accompanying publication provide an overview of the artist’s paintings from 1974 to 1982—a time of intense formal, as well as technical innovation for D’Arcangelo. During this period, he returned to representations of the American landscape, but with more complex groupings of objects. Many of them have the desolate mood of an industrial wasteland, depicted in drab grays and buffs rather than the simple, bright hues characteristic of Pop. Some feature large areas of open sky, but the sky is mostly unstressed. The viewer’s focus is instead drawn elsewhere: to jets, highway overpasses, water towers, and tangled power lines. The compositions are flat and direct. Several works in the exhibition, including Pike (1976–1977), feature a big C-shape encompassing three corners of the canvas. Others, such as Without Sound Two (1982), are organized around a big central post-and-lintel pi shape. The simplicity and scale of these compositions have an historical context. They relate to Pop Art; however, they are also functions of D’Arcangelo’s career-long fascination with archetypes of the built environment, both emblematic and monumental. The artist once described himself as searching for “icons that mattered.” His use of vernacular imagery seems motivated by a desire, not to glorify the contemporary landscape, but to bring the spiritual significance of art to a more familiar context.