Nicolas Carone

American, 1917 -2010

 

Untitled  , Oil on canvas, c. 1950s, 19 7/8 x 23 inches

Untitled, Oil on canvas, c. 1950s, 19 7/8 x 23 inches

Untitled  , Oil on canvas, c. 1957, 19 7/8 x 23 3/4 inches

Untitled, Oil on canvas, c. 1957, 19 7/8 x 23 3/4 inches

SOLD  Threshold ,  Oil on canvas, 1957, 73 3/8 x 100 ¾ inches

SOLD Threshold, Oil on canvas, 1957, 73 3/8 x 100 ¾ inches

It was his mother’s “renaissance policy”, as Carone himself describes it, that led him to art at the Leonardo da Vinci Art School at the age of eleven. He took night classes there, commuting from his childhood home in Hoboken, New Jersey, and going to public school in the day. He was once sent to the principal for getting caught drawing nudes during class.

Carone then went on to study with Leon Kroll, who became an enormous influence on him, both artistically and in life. “He became like a father to me”, Carone said in an interview with Paul Cummings. While in the Army, stationed on Long Island, Carone would hitchhike to New York at night to take classes with Hans Hofmann. From Hoffman, Carone first delved into the realm of abstraction. Carone even claimed that the roots of some of major abstract expressionist work were being laid in that class. He says, “For example, Franz Kline -- the things that Franz was doing, we were doing that in school. I mean a few of us were doing it. I'm talking about the talented people that were going beyond what was acceptable in the art world. And Hofmann knew it. Hofmann used to say that. He'd say, "You people don't realize what you're doing." He said, "You're doing something more advanced than anything outside." And it was true as I see it.” He also mentions de Kooning as one who learned from what the artists in Hofmaan’s class had dared to do. Carone then moved to Italy for almost four years, and ended up with a studio next to Mark Rothko on one side, and Fazzini, a prominent Italian sculptor, on the other. He also became quite close with Roberto Matta, another important influence in his life.

When he returned to the states, he began working with the Stable Gallery as an assistant director. Carone found most of the artists that gave the Stable its reputation. Beginning with Edward Dugmore, then Marca Relli, Earnest Briggs, John Ferren, Joseph Cornell, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, James Brooks etc., the crop of artists who showed in the Stable early, both in the life of the gallery and in the careers of the artists, all became very well known. Carone then showed with Stable for the first time in 1954.

He went on to continue to paint and teach, though his career was eclipsed by Pop art and Minimalism in the 1960s. He passed away on July 15, 2010, at his home in Hudson, New York. He was one of the last remaining survivors of the major Abstract Expressionist Painters.