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Grace Hartigan (1922-2008)

“Ms. Hartigan’s move to Baltimore coincided with a drastic shift in artistic fashion, as Pop Art and Minimalism eclipsed Abstract Expressionism … Ms. Hartigan embarked on what she later recalled as “an isolated creative life.” For decades she painted in a loft in a former department store and taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art. The college created a graduate school around her, the Hoffberger School of Painting, of which she became director in 1965. “

— William Grimes, The New York Times
November 18, 2008


Renowned for her formative participation in the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1950s, Hartigan’s paintings from the latter decades of her career blend figurative content with her signature sensibility of vibrant color, active gesture and painterly freedom.

Tracing their lineage from an early abstract practice often integrated with visionary signifiers, these canvases extend primarily from the artist’s career-long devotion to expressionistic line and color. Featuring subjects such as dolls, courtesans, nobles, film stars and chimerical creatures, Hartigan builds on the associative mark-making of Abstract Expressionism to siphon from the collective unconscious a personal rubric of representational symbols. Infused at once with the process of their own making and with a subject matter frequently drawn from past myths, Hartigan’s later works create a new moment of non-linear time in which fantasy can be used in the service of, as the artist has stated, “understanding the life you are living.”

C. Grimaldis Gallery has proudly represented Grace Hartigan’s work and estate since 1979. Hartigan’s work is represented extensively in private and public collections worldwide including the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. 


Previous exhibitions at C. Grimaldis Gallery:

2017 Grace Hartigan: The Late Paintings
2009 Grace Hartigan: A Life in Painting
2007 Grace Hartigan: New Painting
2006 Grace Hartigan: Portraits from the Masters, New Paintings
2005 Grace Hartigan: A Survey Works on Paper, 1950s to 2005
1993 Grace Hartigan: The Vulgar and Vital, New Paintings and Works on Paper
1992 Grace Hartigan: New Works
1990 Grace Hartigan: New Paintings and Works on Paper
1989 Grace Hartigan: Works on Canvas and Paper

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