Alfonso Ossorio 1916 - 1990 American, born Phillippines Abstract Expressionism/ New York School Painters
It is hard to overstate the importance to the East End art colony of Alfonso Ossorio, scion of a wealthy Filipino family. In 1949, after forming friendships with Jackson Pollock and Jean Dubuffet and collecting their work, Ossorio visited Pollock and Lee Krasner in Springs and spent the summer in East Hampton. Two years later he purchased The Creeks, a fifty-seven-acre estate on Georgica Pond where he lived until his death forty years later. The Creeks became a cultural hub of the East End, a meeting place for such friends as Pollock, Krasner, Dubuffet, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Costantino Nivola, as well as the home of Ossorio’s magnificent art collection and gardens. Clyfford Still, Syd Solomon, and Grace Hartigan were among the artists who stayed on the property. Ossorio was a designer and cofounder of East Hampton’s Signa Gallery which, from 1957 to 1960, not only showed the work of celebrated New York School artists but also exhibited artists from the Japanese Gutai group, whose work was akin to Abstract Expressionism. While Ossorio’s early work was Surrealist, in the 1950s, in part because of his exposure to the art brut of Dubuffet, he turned to assemblage, affixing shells, bones, driftwood, nails, dolls’ eyes, cabinet knobs, dice, costume jewelry, mirror shards, and other objects to his panels.
Alfonso Ossorio spent the summer of 1949 in East Hampton. In 1951 he purchased “The Creeks," an estate on Georgica Pond that soon became a cultural hub of the East End.