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Grace Hartigan ( ) Still Life with Cucumber (1953) an important Abstract Expressionist work

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Grace Hartigan ( ) Still Life with Cucumber (1953) an important Abstract Expressionist work I cannot expect even my own art to provide all the answers - only to hope it keeps asking all the right
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Grace Hartigan ( ) Still Life with Cucumber (1953) an important Abstract Expressionist work I cannot expect even my own art to provide all the answers - only to hope it keeps asking all the right questions. Grace Hartigan The importance of the artistic legacy left behind by Grace Hartigan is difficult to overstate. She was a pioneering and staunchly individual artist in every way possible. Her notable successes were achieved while painting in a very male style of art, Abstract Expressionism, at a time when the art world was dominated by male artists. At the onset of her career, Hartigan was taken in and accepted by the core Abstract Expressionist painters. She temporarily alienated many of these same artists in 1952 when she turned away from total abstraction and incorporated figural elements, inspired by Old Master painting, into her expressionist ideals and aesthetic. The figural expressionist works she created at this time, including Still Life with Cucumber (1953), are considered amongst her most important contributions to American art. Major works from the 1952 to 1958 period in Hartigan s career rarely appear in the marketplace. Museum acquisitions from this period include the Museum of Modern Art s River Bathers (1953) and The Persian Jacket (1952), the Whitney Museum of American Art s Grand Street Brides (1954), and the Art Institute of Chicago s Masquerade (1954). Nelson Rockefeller purchased City Life (1956), which now resides at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We re pleased and excited to offer our recent acquisition, Still Life with Cucumber, for your consideration. It is an exceptional and rare work, by a notable iconoclast, which survives in extraordinary original condition. We welcome your inquiry. Inquiries: Jay Caldwell In 1956, Grace Hartigan was selected as the only woman to exhibit in the prestigious 12 Americans exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Other painters included James Brooks, Sam Francis, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, and Larry Rivers. In Hartigan was again the sole female artist selected to exhibit in the Museum of Modern Art s seminal The New American Painting exhibition which traveled to major museum venues in eight European countries. The other artists included were William Baziotes, James Brooks, Sam Francis, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Willem De Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, Clifford Still, Bradley Walker Tomlin, and Jack Tworkov. Grace Hartigan (American, ) Still Life with Cucumber (aka Coffee-Pot with Cucumber) (1953) Oil on canvas 29 x 30 inches Signed lower right: Hartigan 53 Exceptional and original condition Provenance Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY (label verso) Mr. and Mrs. Merlyn Pizele, New York, NY (purchased from above, until circa 1983.) Mr. Pizele ( ), a labor union specialist who advised Dwight D. Eisenhower, was a well-known art patron and collector. Gruenebaum Gallery, New York, NY, circa 1983 (label verso) Private collection, Dallas, TX (circa ) Exhibition history Grace Hartigan Solo Exhibition (March 31 - April18, 1953), Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY (label verso) Paintings by Grace George Hartigan (October 25 - November 24, 1954), Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, NY (Label verso above annotated with Vassar Exhibit and Mr. and Mrs. Merlyn Pizele. Listed in catalogue flyer as work number 7, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. M.S. Pizele. Gruenebaum Gallery, New York, NY, circa 1983 (label verso) Bibliography The Journals of Grace Hartigan (Syracuse University Press, 2009). Referenced on page 109, 110, and 156. Original Tibor De Nagy Gallery label, with annotations regarding the Vassar Exhibit, and the work s purchase by art patrons Mr. & Mrs. Merlyn Pizele. Exhibition label from Gruenebaum Gallery, NYC. Thomas Gruenebaum was a leading proponent and exhibitor of major Abstract Expressionist art in the 70s and 80s. Exhibition Flyer from Vassar College solo exhibit, 1954, with Hartigan s annotations. Five out of the fourteen works from this exhibition now reside in museum collections. This includes The Persian Jacket Museum of Modern Art, Grand Street Brides Whitney Museum of American Art, The Masker Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, Masquerade Art Institute of Chicago, and The Massacre Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Excerpts from: The Journals of Grace Hartigan (Syracuse University Press, 2009) December 10, 1953 (p. 109): Mel Pizele has Coffee-Pot & Cucumber on approval December 16, 1953 (p. 110): Pizele did buy the still life
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