Grace Hartigan (1922-2008 )


Hartigan began her career as a draftsperson, but began to paint when she moved to New York in 1946 and became exposed to the friendship and society of the Abstract Expressionists. Her professional break came in 1950 at a show at the Samuel Kootz Gallery organised by Clement Greenberg (an art critic and big advocate of the Abstract Expressionist movement) and Meyer Schapiro. Up until 1951, however,she signed her canvases “George Hartigan”.

‘Hartigan’s fame reached its peak in the late 1950’s. During this time, Hartigan was featured in a Life photographic essay “Women Artists in Ascendance” and her work included in several prestigious exhibitions such as Twelve Americans and the Sao Paolo Bienal.’*

However, Hartigan’s career spanned beyond the so-called ‘New York school’, exhibiting in many places across the world, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and in 1967 she became the Director of the Hoffberger Graduate School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. ‘[F]rom 1965-2007 she mentored, criticized and generally helped hundreds of painters find their own paths’#

hartigan et al(Hartigan second from left, pictured with (r-l)Walter Silver, Jane Freilicher, Larry Rivers)**

Sources- #http://www.acagalleries.com/dynamic/artist_bio.asp?ArtistID=9, http://arthistory.about.com/od/nameshh/p/hartigan_grace.htm, http://www.hollistaggart.com/artists/biography/grace_hartigan/, *http://www.marylandartsource.org/artists/detail_000000124.html, **http://library.syr.edu/digital/exhibits/i/imagine/section10/coneyisland.jpg

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