Grace Hartigan (American, Newark, New Jersey 1922–2008 Baltimore, Maryland)
Ink, gouache, cut, torn and pasted paper on paper
12 3/4 x 17 in. (32.4 x 43.2 cm)
Bequest of William S. Lieberman, 2005
Not on view
One of a number of young Abstract Expressionists who adopted Willem de Kooning’s gestural style of painting in the early 1950s, Hartigan soon decided that she wanted to paint "that which is vulgar and vital in American modern life." In retrospect her large-scale depictions of the bridal shops and display windows of her Lower East Side neighborhood in New York seem prescient forerunners of Pop, but they were grounded in her engagement with art of the past. Here, intimations of Matisse suffuse an ink sketch of a seated figure flanked by two tables with flowers and other still life elements; Hartigan then used gouache and pasted cut and torn pieces of paper to disrupt the suggested interior space of the composition.
Inscription: Signed and dated (L.R.): Hartigan '56
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paper Trails: Selected Works from the Collection, 1934–2001," July 19–November 27, 2011, no catalogue.