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Artists Grace Hartigan
Grace Hartigan Photo

Grace Hartigan

American Painter

Movement: Abstract Expressionism

Born: March 28, 1922 - Newark, New Jersey

Died: November 15, 2008 - Baltimore, Maryland

Grace Hartigan Timeline

Quotes

"Well, it is not very comforting when you are going through it. But after you have gone through it, won the facility after years of hard work, and are able to say what you feel and think, then it is a sweet triumph."
Grace Hartigan
"A line is like a lasso. You throw it over your head and you grab something. It's like writing. You can read a line in painting almost the way you can read a word. Drawing is really like writing poetry. Color itself is not like a poem. It diffuses from the very specific. It's changeable - its images change."
Grace Hartigan
"Now as before it is the vulgar and the vital and the possibility of its transformation into the beautiful which continues to challenge and fascinate me."
Grace Hartigan
"Or perhaps the subject of my art is like the definition of humor - emotional pain remembered in tranquility."
Grace Hartigan

"Somehow, in painting I try to make some logic out of the world that has been given to me in chaos."

Grace Hartigan Signature

Synopsis

Grace Hartigan, a second-generation Abstract Expressionist linked historically to artists of the first, such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, who forged a new form of painting based on bold gesture and experimental brushwork. Within the movement, she was respected for her commitment and thick skin, and her striking paintings reflect this attitude. Though she built her early career upon complete abstraction, in 1952 Hartigan began incorporating recognizable motifs and characters from various sources into her art, and moved fluidly between figuration and abstraction throughout her long career. For this reason, her work is often considered to be a precursor to Pop art.

Key Ideas

Hartigan's belief that painting must have "content and emotion" continued throughout her career. Even though her work is often associated with Pop art, Hartigan disliked the idea of mass manufacturing that Pop embraced, preferring the emotion generated by the evident hand of the artist.
Hartigan's best-known works combine the abstraction of her early work with recognizable images from everyday life or motifs from art history, particularly from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The distinction between abstraction and figuration is often blurred by her experimental brushwork and lack of shading.

Biography

Grace Hartigan Photo

Childhood

Hartigan was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1922. As a child, she was close to her grandmother and her aunt, both of whom encouraged her creativity with stories and folktales. Hartigan was later involved with her high school drama program and wanted to be an actress. She married at 17 to Robert Jachens because, she claimed, he was the first boy to read poetry to her. Wanting to escape their narrow upbringing, the couple headed for Alaska to homestead. They got as far as Los Angeles before they ran out of money and Hartigan found out she was pregnant with her only child, Jeffrey. She took a few painting classes before they returned to New Jersey. When Robert was drafted to fight in World War II, Hartigan lived with his parents and got a job as a mechanical draughtsman to support herself and her son. She was sent to the Newark College of Engineering for on-the-job training. It was during this period, after she and her husband separated, that a friend introduced her to the works of Henri Matisse and she began taking art courses from a local artist named Isaac Lane Muse.

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Grace Hartigan Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Grace Hartigan
Interactive chart with Grace Hartigan's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Francisco GoyaFrancisco Goya
Willem de KooningWillem de Kooning

Personal Contacts

Elaine de KooningElaine de Kooning
Frank O'HaraFrank O'Hara

Movements

RenaissanceRenaissance
The BaroqueThe Baroque
Abstract ExpressionismAbstract Expressionism

Influences on Artist
Grace Hartigan
Grace Hartigan
Years Worked: 1940s - 2008
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Helen FrankenthalerHelen Frankenthaler
Joan MitchellJoan Mitchell
David SalleDavid Salle
Julian SchnabelJulian Schnabel

Personal Contacts

Elaine de KooningElaine de Kooning

Movements

Abstract ExpressionismAbstract Expressionism
Pop ArtPop Art
Neo-ExpressionismNeo-Expressionism

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Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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