Achi Sullo

Achillo Sullo, affectionately known as "Achi" (1922-2013), was a first-generation Italian, born in Boston in 1922. His life was marked by a profound military experience, serving four years in the Army Engineering Corps and surviving the monumental D-Day during World War II. Notably, Sullo commenced his artistic journey by painting camouflage patterns on Army vehicles alongside Ellsworth Kelly, a fellow member of the Engineers' Camouflage Battalion.
Benefiting from the GI Bill, Sullo pursued his passion for art at The Boston Museum School of Fine Arts for four years, culminating in a fifth year spent in Italy and France, where he graduated in 1949. His classmate Cy Twombly, who graduated in 1949, and Ellsworth Kelly, who attended in 1948-49, shared the formative years of artistic exploration with Sullo.
Sullo's lone museum exhibition, a solo show titled "Roxbury Pastorals, Paintings and Drawings," took place at the deCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, in November 1958. Organized by the venerable Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, founded in 1926 and later renamed the San Diego Museum of Art in 1978, this exhibition showcased Sullo's artistic prowess. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Sullo exhibited at Boston's Dunbarton Galleries and the Stanhope Gallery, and he was part of the significant exhibition "20/20: 20 Alumni From 20 Years" at the Boston Museum School Gallery in April 1963.
Despite his artistic achievements, Sullo remained a recluse, dedicating 30 years to his studio in Roxbury. Interestingly, he never sought to commercialize his work, considering it a personal form of medicine.
The collection of works we have acquired provides a glimpse into Sullo's artistic legacy, seemingly preserved in an abandoned studio where time has stood still. These period works, characterized by sophistication, intelligence, and originality, exude an organic form of design. Each observation reveals layers of complexity, akin to a chameleon, continuously unveiling new facets of Sullo's artistic brilliance.
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