Allan D’Arcangelo was an American artist who was born in 1930 in New York. As a painter and printmaker, he was a prominent figure in the Pop Art Movement who became inspired by the cultural and physical landscape of his surroundings. In his work, he often approached the future of America with cynicism and uncertainty, and was careful to prioritise a culture of protest over any aesthetic concerns. This included his use of techniques within minimalism, hard-edge painting and surrealism, which helped him to depict his acrylic paintings of highway imagery, street signs and road barriers.
D’Arcangelo’s pieces are composed of bold colours and sharp, solid shapes as a simplification of America’s cultural landscape. He took some of his inspiration from reputable Pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, though his pieces tend to hold implicit messages of politics, the environment, war protests and the objectification of female sexuality. In the two-dimensional images he created, D’Arcangelo was able to detach himself from the customs of his social environment at the time. His Pop Art was exhibited in various galleries and in 1963, his work was a part of the Mixed Media and Pop Art show at the Albright-Knox Museum.
By the 1970s, he was a well-established name in the art industry, mostly known for his depictions of American highways. Although he continued to paint, D’Arcangelo became slightly secluded from the art world when he chose to quit Marlborough Gallery in protest of how they treated Mark Rothko’s legacy.