John Saccaro

American, 1913 - 1981

John M. Saccaro (1913 - 1981)

John Saccaro (aka. Giovanni Saccaro) was born in San Francisco in 1913 to parents of Italian descent. In his early days as an artist Saccaro painted Regionalist paintings in watercolors. At the early age of 25 Saccaro secured his first one man show at the San Francisco Museum of Art.

Starting in 1939 and in the years preceding WWII he worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), first in the Easel Section then later in the Murals Section of the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) in San Francisco and painted murals with Robert McChesney for the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939.

During WWII John Saccaro was drafted into the Army and while stationed in France he painted camouflage on tanks and other US Army vehicles. After the war he returned to San Francisco and enrolled at the California School of Fine Art (CSFA) in 1951.

While studying and painting at the CSFA, Saccaro was exposed to the Abstract Expressionist style that was being taught by instructors at the school such as: Clyfford Still, David Park, Richard Diebenkorn, James Budd Dixon, and Mark Rothko. He graduated from CSFA in 1954.

After graduating from CSFA, Saccaro would receive much acclaim for his unique abstract style. Quoting from George P. Tomlin’s “Saccaro: Sensorist Paintings: Oakland Art Museum 1958” Saccaro describes his paintings as “sensory raids” defining sensorism as an approach that favors “the scrape, slash and violence of the sensory.”

John Saccaro was an art professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, from 1963 to 1964. John Saccaro died in San Francisco in 1981.

Museums:
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA
Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA
Oakland Art Museum, Oakland, CA
Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, CA
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
The Chazen (Elvehjem) Museum of Art, Madison, WI
Triton Museum, Santa Clara, CA

Exhibitions:
1996 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, CA
1990 Carlson Gallery San Francisco, CA
1981 Museo Italo Americano San Francisco, CA
1973 Oakland Museum Oakland, CA
1963 California Palace Legion Honor San Francisco, CA
1962 California Palace Legion Honor San Francisco, CA
1962 Amon Carter Museum Ft. Worth, TX
1962 University Art Gallery Palo Alto, CA
1962 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, CA
1962 Bolles Gallery New York, NY
1960 San Francisco Museum of Art San Francisco, CA
1959 San Francisco Museum of Art San Francisco, CA
1960 M.H. de Young Memorial Mus. San Francisco, CA
1960 Denver Art Museum Denver, CO
1959 San Francisco Museum of Art San Francisco, CA
1959 Corcoran Gallery Arts Biennials Washington, D.C.
1957 Denver Art Museum Denver, CO1958 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Richmond, VA
1958 Oakland Art Museum Oakland, CA
1957 Corcoran Gallery Arts Biennials Washington, D.C
1956 3rd Biennial Museum of Modern Art San Paolo, Brazil
1956 Corcoran Gallery Arts Biennials Washington, D.C
1956 3rd Biennial Museum of Modern Art San Paolo, Brazil
1956 M.H. de Young Memorial Mus. San Francisco, CA
1955 Corcoran Gallery Arts Biennials Washington, D.C
1955 3rd Biennial Museum of Modern Art San Paolo, Brazil
1955 Carnegie International Pittsburgh, PA
1954 Oakland Museum of Art Oakland, CA
1946 M.H. de Young Memorial Mus. San Francisco, CA
1942 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, CA
1942 Art Insitute of Chicago Chicago
1941 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, CA
1940 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, CA
1939 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, CA
1939 San Francisco Museum of Art San Francisco, CA
1939 Art Insitute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Literature:
2005 Davenport, Ray. Davenport's Art Reference:The Gold Edition
2005 AskART.com Inc. - Dunbier, Lonnie Pierson (Editor). The Artists Bluebook: 34,000 North American Artists to March 2005
2004 Landauer, Susan. San Francisco and Second Wave: The Blair Collection of Bay Area Abstract Expressionism
2003 Herskovic, Marika (editor). American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s: An Illustrated Survey
2002 Hughes, Edan Milton. Artists in California: 1786-1940
2002 McClelland, Gordon T; Jay T. Last. California Watercolors 1850-1970, An Illustrated History & Biographical Dictionary
1999 Falk, Peter Hastings (Editor). Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975
1997 Burgard, Timothy Anglin. Bay Area Art From Morgan Flagg Collection
1996 Landauer, Susan. The San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism
1993 Soria, Regina American Artists of Italian Heritage / 1776-1945
1990 Falk, Peter Hastings (Editor). The Annual Exhibition Record of the Art Institute of Chicago
1989 Hughes, Edan Milton. Artists in California, 1786-1940
1985 DuPont, Diana, K Holland. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Paintings and Sculpture Collection
1985 Falk, Peter Hastings (Editor). Who Was Who in American Art: Artists Active Between 1898-1947
1985 Albright, Thomas. Art in the San Francisco Bay Area 1945-1980 / An Illustrated History
1984 Orr-Cahill, Christina. The Art of California Selected Works/ Oakland Museum
1976 San Francisco Museum Modern Art. Painting & Sculpture in California: The Modern Era
1975 Editor, Smithsonian. Smithsonian Archives of American Art: Checklist of the Collection
1973 McChesney, Mary Fuller. A Period of Exploration: San Francisco 1945-1950
1958 Art Bank of the SFAA San Francisco Art Association. Painting and Sculpture (in) 87
1956 Long Beach Muni Art Center. California Painting 40 Painters
1935 Mallett, Daniel Trowbridge. Index of Artists: International-Biographical

Sources:
Landauer, Susan. The San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism
David Carlson, Carlson Gallery
www.AskART.com
www.artnet.com
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