Grace Hartigan and Yvonne Thomas | Acquisition Highlights






Hollis Taggart Galleries


Hollis Taggart Galleries

Acquisition Highlights

Grace Hartigan (1922-2008), Still Life with Cucumber, 1953, Oil on canvas, 29 x 30 1/4 inches

Grace Hartigan (1922-2008), Still Life with Cucumber, 1953, Oil on canvas, 29 x 30 1/4 inches

 

GRACE HARTIGAN ACQUISITION HIGHLIGHT

Still Life with Cucumber, 1953

Oil on canvas

29 x 30 1/4 inches

Signed and dated lower right: "Hartigan '53"



Part of the Second Generation of Abstract Expressionists, Grace Hartigan
received critical attention in the early 1950s after participating in two major group exhibitions: New Talent, organized by art-world heavyweights Clement Greenberg and Meyer Schapiro, and the famous Ninth Street Show, put together by the influential dealer and tastemaker Leo Castelli. This abstract work, from 1953, illustrates the vitality of both form and color that made many of Hartigan’s canvases so successful. Her turn away from abstraction in the early 1950s alarmed some of her contemporaries, but arguably the artist’s best work comes from the representational paintings of this period, including River Bathers
(1953, Museum of Modern Art), Grand Street Brides (1954, Whitney Museum of American Art), and Masquerade (1954, Art Institute of Chicago). All three of these were shown alongside Still Life with Cucumber in a 1954 solo exhibition at Vassar College Art Gallery.

Yvonne Thomas (1913-2009), Allegro, 1961, Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches

Yvonne Thomas (1913-2009), Allegro, 1961, Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches

 

YVONNE THOMAS ACQUISITION HIGHLIGHT

Allegro, 1961

Oil on canvas

18 x 24 inches

Signed, titled, inscribed, and dated verso: "Yvonne Thomas / 'Allegro' / 24" x 18" / 1961"

 

The Abstract Expressionist artist Yvonne Thomas’ lyrical and sophisticated abstractions are prized for their interrogations into the symbolic possibilities of color. In Allegro
from 1951, Thomas has applied her vibrant colors in a thick and expressive manner. Alongside color relations, structure is key to the work, as each pigment is relatively contained within its own division or shape within the canvas. The title of the painting suggests that these colors are purposed to evoke not only music, but also a lively, sprightly tempo. The viewer’s eye is drawn to the vortex of green at the center of the piece, manipulated subtly by the diagonal and circular motions of the surrounding white and orange paint strokes. The canvas emits both a sense of calm and chaos; it is at once dynamic and structured.

 

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