Lawrence Calcagno was born in San Francisco in 1913 and grew up on his father’s ranch near Big Sur, California. As a child, Calcagno was interested in art and began drawing and painting. Shortly after completing high school, he traveled to Asia to work as a merchant seaman. During the war he served in U.S. Air Force. During his service, Calcagno won an award for his drawings. In 1945, he exhibited in two galleries: one in New Orleans, LA, and another in Galveston, TX. After serving in World War II, Calcagno studied art in San Francisco, Paris, and Florence. Calcagno studied painting with Clyfford Still and Mark Rothko at the California School of Fine Art. During his stay in Europe, Calcagno studied at the Acadamie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris and the Instituto d Atre' Statale in Florence. While studying in Paris, Calcagno became friends with artist Beauford Delaney. Delaney and Calcagno shared much in common. Artistically, both were dedicated to abstraction, and the almost spiritual nature of painting. Both men experienced severe depression and were aware of the social isolation that accompanied their homosexuality. Calcagno and Delaney became life-long companions. In 1952, he began showing at the Fachetti Gallery in Paris, and the following year participated in a group exhibition at Martha Jackson Gallery in New York.Upon his return to the United States, Calcagno had a solo exhibition at the Martha Jackson Gallery. He was a visiting artist-in-residence at several schools including the University of Alabama, Albright Art School, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Calcagno migrated to Taos, NM after his 1972 Wurlitzer residency. His works are in the collections of Whitney, Smithsonian, Brooklyn Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and National Gallery of Art.