NEW YORK, NY.-
On view at David Findlay Jr Gallery
are twenty works that trace the artistic journey of John Grillo, from paintings reflecting the early influences of European modernism and Surrealist automatism (1940s) to his tight, playful color studies under the tutelage of Hans Hofmann (1950s) and onto to his vibrant, large scale Abstract Expressionist canvases (1960s).
Working in San Francisco at the California School of Fine Arts for two years (1946-48), Grillo left an indelible mark on the art community with his lively abstractions that, though unbeknownst to him, mirrored much of what was taking place artistically in New York. Grillo is regarded as one of the first and most important "action painters" on the West Coast.
In 1948 Grillo returned to the East Coast to study with Hans Hofmann with whom he would have a lasting friendship until Hofmann's death in 1966. Influenced by Hofmanns legendary sense of color, in 1950 Grillo began to produce small canvases and works on paper, loosely constructed on a grid, with tiles of color vibrating against each other. These mosaic paintings are some of Grillos most lasting and recognizable works.
By the early 1960s Grillo began working on a much larger scale. Though still utilizing a structural grid, Grillos brushstrokes take on a more immediate, energetic feel. These light filled canvases radiate with a palate of primarily whites, yellow, golds and oranges.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Grillo showed frequently in New York and in Provincetown, MA where he would eventually reside. At the age of 96, John Grillo is actively painting in his studio in Wellfleet, MA. The work of John Grillo work is featured in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The British Museum, Walker Art Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Worcester Museum of Art, and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, among many others.