Acrylic on canvas
60 x 54 inches
Signed, titled, and dated on the verso
The highway, a quintessential symbol of American culture, was a key image in the work of Pop and Minimalist painter and printmaker Allan D’Arcangelo. A leading figure in the first generation of American Pop artists, D’Arcangelo earned his first solo exhibition in 1963 at the Fischbach Gallery with a series of iconic paintings of American highways, road signs, and industrial landscapes.
By the mid-1960s, D’Arcangelo used a greater degree of abstraction for his highway paintings. He stripped his works of extraneous details and focused on graphic road signs, fragmented geometric shapes, and lines. The present work is a masterful example of this shift in style, with its flattened picture plane, straightforward forms, and expressive colors. In this painting, a long stretch of black asphalt is overlapped by a black-and-white striped horizontal barrier board, or overpass road. Space is both flat and volumetric as transparent shadows are cast behind the forms.