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Abstract Expressionism: The Formative Years 1946–1948

Foreword by Susan Landauer


134 Pages, 11.5 x 10.5

Cloth, $50.00 (US $50.00) (CA $55.00)

Publication Date: July 2010

ISBN 9780982319666

Rights: WOR

Fields Publishing (Jul 2010)

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A stunning array of works from the artist's seminal years in California

Vivid and stimulating, this lush monograph focuses on the watercolors that artist John Grillo created during his three years in San Francisco and his major—but heretofore unrecognized—contributions to the abstract expressionist movement. Each of the more than 60 color plates is accompanied by an artist’s statement that will give readers firsthand insight into the mind and creations of one of the finest "action painters" in the postwar West Coast scene. Art students learning about watercolor media, art historians studying abstract expressionism, and collectors of abstract expressionist art will be thrilled by this brilliant new contribution to Grillo scholarship.


"Grillo played a seminal role in the San Francisco branch of a movement that would revolutionize American art. Today, Grillo is acknowledged as perhaps the first and purest 'action painter' on the West Coast and one of the most influential painters of San Francisco's school of Abstract Expressionism."  —Thomas Albright, Art in the San Francisco Bay Area

"A collage of spiraling forms, dazzling color chords, dynamic diagonals, and jump-cut spatial locations, fast rhythms, fleeting fragmentary shapes . . . as hedonistic and full of joy as the best Hoffmans of the sixties, and even more sensuous."  —April Kingsley, art critic on Grillo's work

Author Biography

Susan Landauer is an independent art curator and a writer. She is the author of Clyfford Still: The Buffalo and San Francisco Collections and is the coauthor of Obata’s Yosemite. She lives in Oakland, California.