A member of the New York School of Abstract Expressionists, Carone was influenced by Surrealism, poetry, and Jungian psychology. Believing that every moment and experience contained inspiration, Carone once posited: "if you look at the sidewalks on a rainy day, study all the marks, you see great paintings."
Born on the Lower East Side and raised in Hoboken, Carone began his study of art at the Leonardo da Vinci School at St. Mark's Church at age eleven. He studied at the National Academy of Design under Leon Kroll-whom he would assist with the creation of the WPA Worcester War Memorial Mural from 1939-1941-then at the Art Students League of New York, Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, and the Rome Academy of Fine Arts. The '40s marked a period of success for the artist, who won the Prix de Roma in 1941 and a Fulbright Fellowship in 1949, both of which gave him the opportunity to study in Italy.
By this time the artist was a close friend of Jackson Pollock, and like the latter Carone opted to set up full-time residency in The Springs on Long Island. In the city, he showed at the Ninth Street Exhibition in 1951 and subsequently at the Stable Gallery. He was also represented by the Anita Shapolsky Gallery and Staempfli Gallery. He taught at Yale, Columbia, Brandeis, Cornell, the Cooper Union, the School of Visual Arts, and the Skowhegan School, later going on to help found the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture as well as the International School of Art in Montecastello, Italy.
A revived interest in Carone's work took place as a result of a 2005 show of his drawings at Lohin Geduld Gallery. He lived to the age of 93, dying in 2010. The artist is remembered for his talent for brushwork and fluency in the language of abstraction. His collage-like works juxtaposed jagged edges and viscous contours with fine lines, curvilinear contours, and lightweight patterning. Of the lyricism present in his abstractions, the artist stated in a 2006 interview:
"Don't be fooled by technique or paint quality… Fuck it! It's the imagery that goes on. It's metaphoric and it's poetry in a jazz sense. It's symbolic and it's on another dimension. It's not an order like Picasso but it's another dimension, the rhythm of mass."
An elegant composition in black and white, Untitled c. 1957 dates to a prolific period in Nicolas Carone's career. The '50s saw marked success for the artist, who during the decade participated yearly in the Ninth Street Shows and Stable Gallery Annuals, also exhibiting at the Brussels International Exhibition (World's Fair) and a Smithsonian exhibition dedicated to Fulbright painters. Notably, in 1957, he was invited to show in the Whitney Annual. A member of the New York School of Abstract Expressionists, Carone was influenced by Surrealism, poetry, and Jungian psychology. Believing that every moment and experience contained inspiration, Carone once posited: "if you look at the sidewalks on a rainy day, study all the marks, you see great paintings." Untitled c. 1957 is a collection of, and homage to, the accrual of visions and experiences that resulted in the expulsion of the encapsulated abstract image from Carone's psyche. The forceful vortex of marks at its center draws the viewer in, almost as if the painting had its own gravity.
Washburn Gallery, New York (label on stretcher bar)