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John Saccaro
(1913 - 1981)


Gee Forces
d. 1960
Oil on canvas
84" x 66"

John Saccaro (1913 -1981)

John Saccaro, born in San Francisco, was enrolled in the Easel Painters and Mural Sections of the Federal Art Project in the 1930s. In WW II, he was a camoufleur in France in the Army. 

 

He studied at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco from 1951 to 1954, and from 1963 to 1964, he taught at UCLA. John Saccaro had many one-man exhibitions on the West Coast at the San Francisco Museum of Art, De Young Museum, and the Oakland Art Museum. 

 

He was a major contributor to the San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism, and his works are seen in the book of the same name by Susan Landauer published by UC Press in 1996. 

 

About 1955, Saccaro began to paint in the manner for which he is best known, using a slashing, angular brushwork that bears a resemblance to the gestural canvases of Kline. He called these paintings "sensory raids," defining sensorism as "the scrape, slash, and violence of the sensory."

 

Saccaro's bright palette contrasted with the earth tones and monochromes the other San Francisco painters used at the time.

 

Solo Exhibitions: San Francisco Museum of Art, 1939, 1959-1960; de Young

Museum, 1946, 1956, 1960; Oakland Museum, 1958; Bolles Gallery, New York,

1962; Museo Italo Americano, 1981; Carlson Gallery, San Francisco, 1990.

 

Selected Group Exhibitions: 

Annual Painting and Sculpture Exhibitions of the San Francisco Art Association at the San Francisco Museum of Art, 1953

PACIFIC COAST ART, IIIrd Biennial of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1955 

CALIFORNIA PAINTERS, 40 Painters, Municipal Art Center, Long Beach, 1956 Contemporary American Painters, 1950-1955, Stanford Art Gallery 1956 

The Art Bank of the San Francisco Art Association, 1958, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 66 The Artist's Environment: West Coast, Amon Carter Museum, UCLA Art Galleries & The Oakland Museum, 1962-63 

Winter Invitational, California Palace of The Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 1962, 63 

The Oakland Museum, California. A Period of Exploration: San Francisco 1945-1950; 1976 

San Francisco Museum of Art, Painting and Sculpture in California: The Modern Era 1973; 

Laguna Art Museum & San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism, 1996.

 

Public Collections : The Oakland Museum; The San Francisco Museum of Modern

Art; The Pasadena Art Museum; The M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San

Francisco; Elvehjem Museum, University of Wisconsin at Madison; Palm Springs

Desert Museum; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna

Beach; Triton Museum, Santa Clara.

 

Literature: Susan Landauer, The San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism; Thomas Albright, Art in the San Francisco Bay Area 1945-1980; Gibbons J. Cooney, John Saccaro, Catalog #5 of a yearlong Series, the Carlson Gallery, 1990; Edan Hughes, Artists in California 1786-1940; Mary Fuller McChesney, A Period of Exploration, San Francisco 1945-1950; Frederick S. Wight, The Artist's Environment: West Coast; Henry Hopkins, Painting and Sculpture in California: The Modern Era.