Skip to main content
image alt

Grace Hartigan

New York Rhapsody

1960

image alt

Grace Hartigan was an American Abstract Expressionist painter renowned for her bold application of paint, which allowed drips and splatters and incorporated thick black outlines while also including references to the human figure, the natural world, and lived experience. Regarding this tension, the artist explained, “I
want an art that is not ‘abstract’ and not ‘realistic.’” Intense coloration and forms that are obliquely suggestive of landscape dominate this painting; an irregularly shaped field of bright blue paint in the center of the canvas resembles the shape of the top half of New York State. Hartigan was also deeply interested in poetry and music, and she titled this work after the free-flowing and improvisatory musical form of rhapsody as a parallel to her painting technique. The artist was one of the few women to achieve recognition within the circle of Abstract Expressionists, a group whose universalizing language was overtly male dominated. [Permanent Collection label, 2021]

  • Artist Grace Hartigan (American, 1922–2008)
  • Title New York Rhapsody
  • Date 1960
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions unframed | 67 3/4 x 91 5/16 in.
  • Credit line University purchase, Bixby Fund, 1960
  • Object number WU 3883
  • Currently on View James M. Kemper Gallery, Room 1

Her Action: Women of Abstract Expressionism
Denver Art Museum (Denver, Colorado), 06/12/2016 - 09/25/2016
Mint Museum of Art (Charlotte, North Carolina), 10/22/2016 - 01/22/2017
Palm Springs Art Museum (Palm Springs, California), 02/18/2017 - 06/28/2017

Gesture, Scrape, Combine, Calculate: Postwar Abstraction from the Permanent Collection
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 08/20/2010 - 09/20/2010

International Abstraction: Art of the 1950s from the Washington University Collections
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 01/22/1999 - 03/28/1999

Abstract Expressionism: American Art in the 1950s and 1960s
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 01/17/1997 - 04/06/1997

The Way We See It: America by Americans 1850–1980
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 10/10/1982 - 11/07/1982

Hartigan: Thirty Years of Painting, 1950–1980
Fort Wayne Museum of Art (Fort Wayne, Indiana), 02/06/1982 - 03/15/1982
Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia), 03/28/1982 - 04/19/1982
Mint Museum of Art (Charlotte, North Carolina), 05/24/1982 - 07/19/1982

1961 Pittsburgh International Exhibition of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture
Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), 10/27/1961 - 01/07/1962

Opening Exhibition of Mark C. Steinberg Memorial Hall
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 04/29/1960

Inscription [LR corner of canvas, written in script in black paint:] Hartigan '60

This artwork record may be incomplete or need refinement. Our staff actively researches the collection and revises records when new information is available. If you have questions or comments about this record, please contact us.