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American, 1916 - 1990
Ossorio, Alfonso A.; Ossorio y Yangco, Alfonso Angel
Born in Manila, Philippine Islands, Alfonso Ossorio moved to the United States in 1929 and spent most of his working life in New York City. He was a member of the first generation of abstract expressionist painters, sharing their rejection of descriptive images and stressing free, spontaneous expression.
Ossorio's work ranges from wall constructions to ink drawings. He has also created freestanding sculpture incorporating feathers, bones, mirrors, and bark. He described such works as "congregated imagery." Many of his drawings and works of sculpture are regarded as surreal, referring to dreams or the unconscious.
[This is an excerpt from the interactive companion program to the videodisc American Art from the National Gallery of Art. Produced by the Department of Education Resources, this teaching resource is one of the Gallery's free-loan educational programs.]