January 19, 2018 – March 11, 2018
GRACE HARTIGAN 1960-1965, THE PERRY COLLECTION presents a rare selection of paintings and collages that represent the Hartigan’s noted Abstract Expressionist style as it evolved in the early 1960s towards new levels of abstraction and representation. Long overlooked, Hartigan was a key innovator among the painters of the New York School.
Hartigan’s reputation as an important contemporary artist increased throughout the 1950s: she was the only woman represented in the much heralded MoMA’s 1956 show Twelve Americans that included Sam Francis, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, and Seymour Lipton; and her work was an integral part of MoMA’s New American Painting exhibition that toured eight countries in Europe in 1958 and 1959 and included Jackson Pollock, William de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell, Arshile Gorky, Clifford Still, and other leading Abstract Expressionist painters.
Hartigan is likewise noted for her influence on three generations, during her more than 40 years, of graduate students as director of Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) Hoffberger School of Painting, Baltimore.
The variety of paintings in this exhibition range from 1960 – 1965, and they are assembled by Hartigan’s Washington D.C. dealer, the late Beatrice Perry. They are characteristic of Hartigan’s style at the time, a style of vivid color and texture painted on a large scale.
Similar works of this period are found in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Albright Knox Art Gallery, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy. The selection also demonstrates the shift in mood and thought as Hartigan transitioned from her studio and work life in New York to Baltimore, Maryland where she lived, painted, and thought until her death in 2008.
GRACE HARTIGAN 1960-1965, THE PERRY COLLECTION is organized by The Mennello Museum of American Art and guest-curated by Michael Klein, independent curator and art historian based in New York.
LEFT: Grace Hartigan, Reisterstown Mall, 1965, oil on canvas, 80 x 102 inches. Collection of Hart Perry.
RIGHT: Grace Hartigan, Untitled, 1961, mixed media on paper, 22 x 28 1/4 inches. Collection of Hart Perry.