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Alexander Corazzo (1908 – 1971)


Alexander Corazzo was born in Lyon, France in 1908 and originally studied music from 1918 to 1924 at the Conservatoire Natl de Musique.  In 1927 he immigrated to the United States and settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he studied art at the St. Paul School of Art under Cameron Booth.  He was employed by the WPA/FAP in St. Paul in the mid-1930s.  Beginning around 1934, his work became abstract and non-objective and remained so throughout his career.


In 1936, Corazzo and fellow artist LeRoy Turner were invited to join the prestigious avant-garde European painting group Abstraction Création.  This loose-knit but influential organization of painters and sculptors, which included Piet Mondrian, Jean Arp and Albert Gleizes, among others, promoted the aesthetic concepts of geometric abstract painting. Their emphasis was a painting style of formal purity, line, color and non-objectivity.  Corrazo and Turner were two of the very selected few American artists accepted into this group, which also included Alexander Calder and Robert Carl Holty.  


In 1937 he moved to Chicago and attended Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's "New Bauhuas" School during its inaugural year (1937-38). 


After spending a decade painting in the 1930s and 1940s (and after serving for two years in the Burma-China theater during World War II), he began studying architecture in 1943, receiving his architecture degree with honors in 1946 from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he studied under Mies Van Der Rohe.  He later worked in Mies Van Der Rohe’s Chicago office and then for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.       


Corazzo was a member of the American Abstract Artist’s Group and he exhibited nationally during the 1930s and 1940s at important venues such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum, both in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. 


At age 63, Corazzo died in Valparaiso, IN in 1971.  The University of Michigan Museum of Art held a retrospective of Corazzo’s works in 1976. 

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