Giorgio Cavallon, born in 1904, was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists and a pioneer Abstract Expressionist. With his airy, luminous and cautiously daring works, he brought a Mediterranean feeling for color and light to American painting.
Born in Sorico, Italy, Cavallon immigrated to the US in 1920, becoming the citizen in 1929. He studied at the National Academy of Design, New York City, and later continued with Charles Hawthorne, Provincetown, Massachusetts and with Hans Hofmann's School of Fine Art in New York. In 1936, Cavallon co-founded the American Abstract Artists group with other like-minded artists, and in 1949, Cavallon joined the "Artists' Club" located at 39 East 8th Street.
Carefully and intuitively balanced, Cavallon's works feature rectangles of color of soft and irregular edges, woven into screens or veils that seem diaphanous yet impenetrable. Focusing on sensitivity towards form in space, he rendered his works with Italianate sensitivity to radiating color. No matter how many colors he used in his canvases, he was able to create strong relationships between them, achieving unity and a sense of euphoria. A consummate craftsman, Cavallon ground his own pigments.
Featured image: Giorgio Cavallon - Untitled, 1946 (detail). Oil on board. 20 1/4 × 16 in. 51.4 × 40.6 cm. Photo courtesy Berry Campbell Gallery