Grace Hartigan 1922 - 2008 American Abstract Expressionism/ New York School Painters
Grace Hartigan is best known for her expansive, vividly expressionistic paintings. She associated with the artists Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock, Larry Rivers and the poet Frank O’Hara at the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement in New York City. In 1948, after seeing a Pollock painting with Sonja Sekula, a European modernist and friend of his. Hartigan hitchhiked out to visit him in East Hampton. She continued to visit Pollock and Krasner through 1951. In 1957, she rented a cottage from Alfonso Ossorio on his property at The Creeks in Wainscott. There she painted Montauk Highway, a work that evokes her feelings “driving from Manhattan out to the Island, the gray of the highway, the glimpse of billboards and then the greens of the potato fields.” By the late 1950s, Hartigan was widely known, and in 1959 she bought a home of her own in Bridgehampton. She was featured in Life and Newsweek, and was the only woman among seventeen artists asked to participate in the Museum of Modern Art’s prestigious exhibition The New American Painting, which traveled to eight European countries in 1958 and 1959. Although she experimented with nonobjective canvases, she abandoned that mode in the early 1950s. Retaining references to the objective world, she felt, made her work more successful.