Buffalo-born artist Allan D’Arcangelo aimed to chronicle the American experience. During the early 1960s, he began creating highly stylized images of desolate highways as seen from an exaggerated perspective. Often, these tableaux incorporate familiar roadside imagery, such as route signs and rearview mirrors. The cool, schematic abstraction the artist employed in these works relies on the viewer’s own experiences and evokes a feeling of loneliness. However, later in the decade, D’Arcangelo’s approach to this same subject became increasingly removed from reality. Landscape, for example, can be read in multiple ways. The black, white, and gray sections may call to mind a railroad crossing barrier, although their large scale challenges the readability of such a reference. The positive-negative qualities of this composition are abstracted, the elements floating in an implied space.
Label from Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s, June 30–December 30, 2018