Grace Hartigan (March 28, 1922 – November 15, 2008) was an Abstract Expressionist painter. She gained her reputation as part of the New York School of artists who emerged in New York City during the 1940s and 1950s.
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- I feel that we are living a very fragmented life; the whole world — you too. So I perceive the world in fragments. It is somewhat like being on a very fast train and getting glimpses of things in strange scales as you pass by. A person can be very, very tiny. And a billboard can make a person very large. You see the corner of a house or you see a bird fly by, and it's all fragmented. Somehow, in painting I try to make some logic out of the world that has been given to me in chaos. I have a very pretentious idea that I want to make life, I want to make sense out of it. The fact that I am doomed to failure — that doesn't deter me in the least.
- As quoted in Contemporary Artists: A-K (2002) by Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast, p. 680 ISBN 1558624880
- I didn’t choose painting … It chose me. I didn’t have any talent. I just had genius.
- Pop Art is not painting because painting must have content and emotion.
- As quoted in "Grace Hartigan, 86, Abstract Painter, Dies" in The New York Times (18 November 2008)
- 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... Or perhaps the subject of my art is like the definition of humor — emotional pain remembered in tranquillity.
- Statement to World Artists : 1950-1980 as quoted n "Grace Hartigan, 86, Abstract Painter, Dies" in The New York Times (18 November 2008)
- Unsourced variant: I have found "my subject", it concerns that which is vital and vulgar in American life and the possibility of its transcendence into the beautiful.
Quotes about Hartigan
- Her art was marked by a willingness to employ a variety of styles in a modernist idiom, to go back and forth from art-historical references to pop-culture references to autobiographical material.
- Robert Saltonstall Mattison, author of Grace Hartigan : A Painter’s World' (1990) as quoted in "Grace Hartigan, 86, Abstract Painter, Dies" in The New York Times (18 November 2008)