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Artists on Art: Grace Hartigan on New England, October

May 2, 2017

Grace Hartigan (American, 1922–2008). New England, October, 1957. Oil on canvas, 68 1/4 x 83 inches (173.4 x 210.8 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1958 (K1958:2). © Estate of Grace Hartigan

In the 1960s, the Albright-Knox wrote to a selection of artists to ask for statements about their works. Grace Hartigan responded with thoughts about her 1957 painting New England, October.

Understanding modern and contemporary art can be a struggle, even when you’re an artist. When asked to comment on New England, October, 1957, more than ten years after the painting’s completion, Grace Hartigan commented, “I recently saw this painting in your exhibition at the National Gallery and, to be frank, it seemed as though someone else had painted it.” Nevertheless, she continued, “I think I am being objective when I say I think the color in the painting is quite beautiful.”

The exhibition to which Hartigan refers was Paintings from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which was on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., from May 18 to July 21, 1968.

Content taken from Letters from 31 Artists to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo: The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, 1970).