John Grillo studied at Hartford School of Fine Arts, California School of Fine Arts, and with Hans Hoffman from 1948-51.
John Grillo’s first show was at the Howard Wise Gallery in New York City on a stormy, and by all accounts miserable day in 1961. However, Grillo’s strong application of bright yellow upon the canvas had such a great impact on Donald Judd, who reviewed the exhibition, that he wrote. ” it was like a room full of sunshine”
Critic April Kingsley described his work as “a collage of spiraling forms, dazzling color chords, dynamic diagonals, and jump-cut spatial locations, fast rhythms, fleeting fragmentary shapes…as hedonistic and full of joy as the best Hoffman’s of the sixties, and even more sensuous. “