John Saccaro
American
(1913 – 1981)

Biography

Bay Area native John Saccaro was a major contributor to the San Francisco school of Abstract Expressionism. He studied at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco in 1954, which was centered on Abstract Expressionism.

After graduating, he began painting in the abstract style he is most famous for, which he called Sensorism. To Saccaro, Abstract Expressionism was not just about creating a painting through spontaneous actions; to him, he had to create something. He had to deliberately create an abstract image that captured some kind of energy or emotion. ” I never went for the little business of dripping the paint on the floor or jumping up to the canvas and making stripes. No, I always had to come up with some sort of an image… I couldn’t explain what the image was, I couldn’t say even when I gave it a title, I couldn’t make you really see what I saw because everybody sees different. But I had to have something there. And you can see that in every [painting].” Saccaro continued to paint in this Sensorist style with much success.

Saccaro’s utilization of slashing, angular brush work and high contrast color palette made him popular amongst institutions such as the De Young Museum, the Bolles Gallery in New York, the Oakland Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Art.

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions
1939 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

1946 M.H. de Young Memorial Museum

1958 the Oakland Museum of California

1959 San Francisco Museum of Art

1960 M.H. de Young Memorial Museum

1962 BoDes Gallery

1981 Museo Italo Americano

1990 Carlson Gallery

 

Selected Group Exhibitions
1939 Art Institute of Chicago

1939-1942 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

1954 The Oakland Museum of California

1955 Carnegie International

1955-1957 Corcoran Gallery of Art

1958 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

1957-1958 Denver Art Museum

1962 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

1962 The Cantor Art Center at Stanford University

1962 California Palace of the Legion of Honor

1973 The Oakland Museum of California

1996 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Selected Collections
The Oakland Museum of California

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Pasadena Art Museum

M.H. de Young Memorial Museum

Elvehjem Museum

Crocker Art Museum

Laguna Art Museum

Triton Museum