Alfonso Ossorio, a painter born into a wealthy Filipino family, first encountered and purchased Pollock’s work in the late 1940s. The two artists became friends, and Ossorio and his partner Ted Dragon spent the summer of 1949 with Pollock and Krasner. In 1951, Pollock encouraged Ossorio to buy the East Hampton estate, “The Creeks,” which Ossorio would make his full-time home until his death in 1990.
In 1957, Alfonso Ossorio, along with John Little and Elizabeth Parker, decided to bring a major art gallery to the area. They each contributed five hundered dollars to lease a space in the center of town for the Signa Gallery. It was designed to show great, international art, and its opening attracted more than five hundred guests. Over the gallery’s three years in operation, it showed the works of many of the artists in this exhibition including Ernest Briggs, Perle Fine, and Conrad Marca-Relli.