CAMPAIGN MISSION STATEMENT
O S S O R I O F O U N D A T I O N
CHRONOLOGY AND MUSEUM COLLECTIONS
Born on the Island of Luzon in Manilla, Phillipines to Maria Paz Yangco and Miguel José Ossorio, the fourth of six boys.
Travels with his mother and two younger brothers, Frederic and Robert, to England. Attends Prior Park Christian Bros. School in Bath, then St. Richard's School in Malvern, Worcestershire.
Attends Portsmouth Priory, Providence, RI.
Naturalization as an American citizen.
First wood engravings published privately for W.W. Appleton's Dark Journey and Other Verses. Cambridge, MA.
Harvard University. Studies with Wilhelm Köhler and Edward Waldo Forbes. Receives Bachelor of Arts degree. Thesis titled, "Spiritual Influences on the Visual Image of Christ." Meets Ananda Coomaraswamy, Eric Gill, Graham Carey, Philip Hofer, Lincoln Kirstein, Jared French, Paul Cadmus and George Platt Lynes.
First original work published: Poems and Wood Engravings printed by hand by E. Walters in London, England. Collects and catalogues works by Thomas Derrick, Eric Gill, Philip Hagreen, David Jones and Denis Tegetmeier.
Illustrates covers for 1937 editions of New Directions and Les Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud. George Platt Lynes shoots a series of portraits of Ossorio.
Rhode Island School of Design. Studies with John Howard Benson and Eugene Kingman, who teach him the egg tempera technique.
Spends the winter in Boston. Commissioned by the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Manhattan to depict the heads of the Twelve Apostles with their symbols on the reverse side.
Marries Bridget Hubrecht. Couple lives in Taos, NM, on Frieda Lawrence's ranch. Does portrait of Frieda Lawrence.
Meets Betty Parsons in Taos. First one-man show at the Wakefield Gallery (Betty Parsons) in New York. Divorce from Bridget Hubrecht.
One-man show at the Wakefield Gallery, NYC. Induction into the army.
Does medical illustrations for the U.S. Army at Camp Ellis, IL. Privately makes Surrealist influenced works.
One-man show at Mortimer Brandt Gallery, NYC.
Discharged from army. Spends winter with brother Robert, in Palm Springs, CA.
Spends winter in New York at the Chelsea Hotel. Does portrait of W.H. Auden. In the summer, meets dancer Ted Dragon at Jacob's Pillow, MA.
Buys first Pollock. Meets Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock. Ossorio and Dragon spend first summer in East Hampton. Travels to Paris in Fall to meet Jean and Lili Dubuffet.
Spends ten months in mill site town of Victorias, Negros Occidental, the Philippines, doing mural The Angry Christ for the Chapel of St. Joseph the Worker. Influenced by Dr. Nandor Fodor's book, The Trauma of Birth: Search for the Beloved. Also does several hundred ink, wax and watercolor works on paper. Visits New York briefly before going to Paris.
In Paris, meets frequently with Jean and Lili Dubuffet. In April and May Ossorio and Dragon stay with the Dubuffets on the Ile du Levant, where Dubuffet writes the text for his monograph on Ossorio entitled, Peintures Initiatiques d'Alfonso Ossorio and introduces Ossorio to Michel Tapié. Tapié organizes a one-man show at the Studio Paul Facchetti in Paris of Ossorio's Victorias drawings - the wax resist works on paper - which Ossorio made while in the Philippines. In August Ossorio makes a quick trip to East Hampton at the suggestion of the Pollocks, to purchase The Creeks, the studio and home of painter/ designers Albert and Adele Herter, then returns to Paris. To New York in November for an exhibition of the Victorias drawings at Betty Parsons Gallery. Writes the catalogue introduction for Jackson Pollock's "black and white" show at Betty Parsons. Plans for Pollock show to travel to Studio Facchetti for March exhibition in 1952. On December 20th, accompanies Dubuffets to Chicago for Dubuffet's lecture at the Art Club of Chicago, "Anticultural Positions." Dubuffet makes arrangement with Ossorio to house and exhibit the entire collection of the Companie L'Art Brut at The Creeks in East Hampton.
Takes title to The Creeks in January. Meets Clyfford Still. Goes to Paris in mid February, returning in April with many of Dubuffet's works and makes preparations to house the Collection of L'Art Brut.
1953 and 1956
One-man shows at Betty Parsons Gallery, NYC.
Organizes a series of exhibitions at Executive House, NYC. with works by Willem de Kooning, Jean Dubuffet, Hans Hoffman, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and David Smith among others.
Co-founds the Signa Gallery in East Hampton with Elizabeth Parker and John Little, and organizes exhibitions and symposia there.
Participates in Osaka International Festival "The International Art of a New Era, USA., Japan, Europe."
1958 and 1959
One-man shows at Betty Parsons Gallery, NYC. Starts making assemblages, which he calls "Congregations."
1960 and 1961
One-man shows at the Galerie Stadler. Ossorio attends both shows in Paris.
One-man shows at Betty Parsons Gallery, and the Cordier & Warren Gallery, NYC and at Gallery Cordier-Stadler, Frankfurt, Germany. Participates in "The Art of Assemblage" at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Ossorio arranges an exhibition of the collection of L'Art Brut at the Cordier & Warren Gallery in New York before returning it to Dubuffet in Paris.
One-man show at the Cordier & Ekstrom Gallery, NYC. (1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972.)
Participates in "Documenta III" Kassel, Germany. Ossorio and Dragon summer in Greece and Turkey.
Whitney Museum of American Art "Contemporary American Sculpture" assembled by the Howard and Jean Lipman Foundation.
Memorial speaker for dedication and unveiling of bust (by James Rosati) of close friend, theologian Paul Tillich in New Harmony, IN.
Participates in "Dada, Surrealism and their heritage" at the Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Ossorio starts first planting of conifers at The Creeks.
Alfonso Ossorio written by B. H. Friedman published by Abrams.
Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY exhibits garden sculptures by Ossorio.
One-man exhibitions at the Berkeley Center, Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT, and the Bruce Museum, Greenwich CT.
Participates in "The Object as Poet" at Renwick Gallery, National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington, D.C.
Participates in "30 years of American Art: 1945075" at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC.
"Alfonso Ossorio 1940-1980" - Curated by Judith Wolfe. A survey of 40 years of his work at Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY. Interviewed by Forrest Selving for the Archives of American Art.
Participates in "The Americans: The Collage" at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX.
With a Whitney Museum Fellowship, Ossorio publishes intaglio prints in the form of a book with poems by Dr. Lewis Thomas, called "Bioscapes" Oscarsson Hood Gallery, New York and The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA.
Makes intaglio and monoprints with Hudson River Press.
Participates in "Action and Emotion - 50 years of Painting Informel, Gutai, Cobra" at the National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan.
Participates in "Twentieth-Century Drawings" at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC.
Hospitalized by heart failure. Undergoes triple by-pass. Works on drawings in hospital which he calls "Recovery Drawings."
The French collector Daniel Cordier makes a large donation from his collections to the Centre Georges Pompidou. Nine Ossorio's become part of the Pompidou's Collection.
"A salute to Signa" at Guild Hall Museum East Hampton and the East Hampton Center for Contemporary Art, celebrated in the 1957-60 artist run gallery and symposium founded by John Little, Alfonso Ossorio and Elizabeth Parker.
"Alfonso Ossorio: The Victorias Drawings, 1950." Exhibition at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center: Symposium with Paul Cummings, B.H. Friedman, Helen Harrison, and Judith Wolfe. "Alfonso Ossorio: A Memorial Exhibition, work of the Fifties," Jennifer Pinto & Vanderwoulde Tananbaum Gallery, New York, "Alfonso Ossorio: A Legacy," Benton Gallery Southampton, NY.
"Alfonso Ossorio Drawings, 1940-48: The Anatomy of a Surrealist Sensibility." Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC. Klaus Kertess - Curator.
Included in "Parallel Visions: Modern Artists and Outsider Art" Exhibition organized by Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA. Traveled to Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain, Kunsthale Basel, Switzerland and Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan. Art critic Robert Huges reviews exhibition for Time Magazine. He writes, "...the prodigiously fecund and still imperfectly understood Fillipino-American artist Alfonso Ossorio (1916-1990), whose paintings such as Rose Mother, 1951 are among the high points of this show."
Ossorio Foundation opens in Southampton, NY.
"Alfonso Ossorio: Sculpture from the 1960s" Zabriskie Gallery, New York The Center for Book Arts publishes Recovery: The Hospital Drawings of Alfonso Ossorio, a limited edition of 100. The texts are by B.H. Friedman, Rose Slivka and Lewis Thomas. The book reproduces 42 felt tip drawings that Ossorio did while recuperating from a heart operation in 1988/89. It also includes the last four drawings that Ossorio did in his life, while in the hospital in 1990. A show in August at the Arlene Bujese Gallery in East Hampton, NY exhibited 38 of the original 42 Recovery Drawings as well as the book.
"The Twentieth Annniversary of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Fine Arts Program" in Washington DC. April 9 - June 7 exhibited "Yellow Couple," 1959, in the group selected from the Fed's Collection. The work was illustrated in color in the catalogue and accompanied by an essay by Helen Harrison.
On August 16, The Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, NY opened a major exhibition of Ossorio's "Congregations." Curator, Klaus Kertess, accompanied by a color catalogue. Historians Ellen Landau and Leslie Rose Close also contribute to the catalogue.
Alfonso Ossorio, "The Creeks: Before, During and After," Watercolors 1932-34, & Photographs 1990, Confifer Arboretum and Sculpture Park, June 1 - September 2, at Ossorio Foundation, Southampton, New York. Color catalogue available.
"Road: Alfonso Ossorio’s Response to Jackson Pollock's Death," May 3 - July 28, at Pollock- Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton, New York.
“Angels, Demons and Savages” February 9 - May 12, 2013, at The Phillips Collection, Washington DC and July 21 - October 27, 2013 at The Parrish Museum, Water Mill, New York. Washington Post review
(^ return to top of this page)
SELECTED MUSEUM COLLECTIONS
Albertina Museum Vienna, Austria
(^ return to top of this page)
@ 2017 Ossorio Foundation