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New York State Office of General Services - Empire State Plaza Art Collection
Empire State Plaza Art Collection
Touching / 1968 By Calvert Coggeshall
Medium: casein on canvas, two panels
Dimensions: 67" x 78 1/8"
Location: North Concourse
Photo Credit: Michael Fredericks
Permission by: Courtesy of the Estate of the Artist 2010

Description: Calvert Coggeshall was born in Utica, New York in 1907. He attended the University of Pennsylvania where he studied fine arts and architecture, and like many of the other artists represented in the Empire State Plaza Art Collection, also spent some time studying at the Art Students League in New York City. In 1949 he worked with Bradley Walker Tomlin,who at the time was emerging as one of the early Abstract Expressionists. Coggeshall has his first solo exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1951 and continued to show there intermittently until the late seventies. Throughout his career, Coggeshall has also worked in architecture and furniture design. The paintings shown in Coggeshall's earliest exhibitions were Abstract Expressionist in style. Coggeshall, however, did not adopt the spontaneous gestural mode of artist such as Franz Kline and Philip Guston. Interwining geometric and calligraphic shapes give his paintings a more structured appearance similar to those of his mentor Tomlin. Perhaps his background in architecture and design overrode the implusle toward expressionist gesture; for by the mid-sixties, Coggeshall had abandoned Abstract Expressionist. He began composing paintings from simple, solidly colored forms, works that recall those of early twentieth-century geometric art movements.