Exposition Art Blog

Grace Hartigan - American Abstract Expressionism


American artist Grace Hartigan (1922-2008) was a second-generation abstract expressionist. A member of the New York avant-garde and a close friend of artists like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, Hartigan was deeply influenced by the ideas of abstract expressionism. However, as her career progressed, Hartigan sought to combine abstraction with representation in her art. Although this shift garnered criticism from the art world, Hartigan was resolute in her convictions. She held fast to her ideas about art, forging her own path for the duration of her career.Hartigan’s first significant exposure to modern art came when a fellow draftsman offered her a book about Henri Matisse. Instantly captivated, Hartigan knew right away that she wanted to join the art world. She enrolled in evening painting classes with Isaac Lane Muse. By 1945, Hartigan had moved to the Lower East Side and immersed herself in the New York art scene.
A busy abstract surface is characteristic of Hartigan’s style, but whereas in much of her other work she allows imagery to form, here Hartigan intersperses her painterly strokes with selections of text taken from Frank O’Hara’s “Oranges No. 1.” The poem is one in a collection of twelve published in 1949 by O’Hara, in response to which Hartigan produced twelve canvases, each featuring excerpted text from the corresponding poem.
Throughout her life, Hartigan resisted the strictures of artistic fashion. The abstract expressionist movement shaped her early career, but she quickly moved beyond it and began inventing her own styles. She is best known for her ability to combine abstraction with representational elements. In the words of critic Irving Sandler, “She simply dismisses the vicissitudes of the art market, the succession of new trends in the art world. … Grace is the real thing.”
















Leslie George Hurry - British Surrealism


Leslie George Hurry (10 February 1909– 20 November 1978) was a British artist and set designer for ballet, theatre and opera.Hurry was born in London, where his father, A. G. Hurry, was a funeral director in St John's Wood. Leslie Hurray was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School before, resisting pressure to join the family business, he attended St. John's Wood Art School and the Royal Academy Schools. In the second half of the 1930s he wandered Britain and Ireland painting landscapes. Depressed with his work and seeking inspiration to develop a personal style, he moved to Brittany then Paris, but was forced to return to Britain due to health problems.
In 1939, found unfit for military service and disturbed by the war, he isolated himself in his secluded cottage at Thaxted, Essex. At this time he was befriended by Grace Sholto Douglas, an elderly patron of arts who died in 1942. In 1940–41 he produced two books of intricate automatic drawings that were exhibited at the Redfern Gallery, leading to his acclaim as an "ultra-surrealist".
His first stage work was for a production of Hamlet for the Sadler's Wells Ballet in 1942, work commissioned by Robert Helpmann, who had seen his paintings in a London gallery. He subsequently worked for Sadler's Wells, the Old Vic, Aldwych Theatre, Glyndebourne, the Royal Opera House, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the theatre in Canada, particularly in Stratford, Ontario.He left a large corpus of paintings, including abstract, portraiture and landscape works.Wikipedia
















Ernest Ruckle


Ernest Ruckle (1940 -2018) was an American artist noted for his elaborately structured paintings.
He was born in Neptune, New Jersey, US. Ruckle attended elementary schools in Florida and Georgia, and high school in New Jersey. At Rutgers University, he at first majored in biology, but later switched to English literature and specialized in literary criticism. His most influential teachers were Francis Fergusson and Paul Fussell.
After getting his degree, he became a professional artist in 1963. He soon started to produce paintings in formal perspective with huge crowds of people and parodies of complex machinery. His first one-man show was at the Studio Gallery Workshop in New York City in 1966. (His tenth New York one-man show was in 2005 at the Louis K. Meisel Gallery.)Between 1966 and 1969, Ruckle developed an original flat style influenced by Cubism and Futurism with an unusual perspective system, perhaps influenced by Persian miniatures. Beginning around 1975 he began to use more than one style in a work and to use variation in style as a structural device.Wikipedia
















Yechiel Shemi - Abstract Painting and Sculpture


Yechiel Shemi ‎(1922-2003) was an Israeli sculptor. His environmental sculptures are displayed in open spaces around the country.In 1959-1961, Yechiel Shemi studied art in Paris. In 1977-1979, he taught sculpting and lectured on environmental sculpture at Oranim Teachers College. He also taught at the Technion in Haifa and the Ein Hod artist's colony. Shemi was a member of New Horizons group.After a show in the United States in the 1960s, the Museum of Modern Art acquired his work. Shemi was the first Israeli artist to have his work purchased by the MoMa.Shemi won the Sandberg Prize in 1981 and the Israel Prize for sculpture in 1986. In 1966 and 1997, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art mounted exhibitions of his work
In 1962 Shemi began to create expressive works. The raw material used in these sculpture was mostly scrap metal. During the 1960s Yehiel Shemi introduced his assemblage sculpture in the solo exhibitions at Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels in 1964. Yehiel Shemi had additional solo exhibitions at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 1966 and at the Israel Museum in 1967. Shemi also created at this time two large public statues. In 1966 Shemi moved to Kibbutz Gadot for a half year.
In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s Shemi changed the technique used in his sculptures. Instead of using ready-made objects, he reduced his art to geometric shapes. In 1981 Shemi was awarded the Sandberg Prize from the Israel Museum. In 1986, the Israel Prize for sculpture, together with Batya Lishansky. In 1988 Adam Baruch published the book "Yehiel Shemi: Sculptures" and a solo exhibit was help in the Ramat Gan Museum of Art.Wikipedia