Collage of shapes created from the abstract expressionist works of Grace Hartigan (1922-2008), second-generation Abstract Expressionist who forged a new form of painting based on bold gesture and experimental brushwork.
Grace Hartigan supported her family by practicing mechanical drafting in an aircraft factory, while making watercolors on the side. Introduced to the work of Henri Matisse, she developed a lifelong interest in modern art, moved to New York after World War II and began to engage in the world of Abstract Expressionism, befriending Milton Avery, Adolph Gottlieb, and Mark Rothko. After seeing a Jackson Pollock exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1948, Hartigan began to form her own, inimitable Abstract Expressionist sensibility. She followed De Kooning's lead by studying the Old Masters and rejecting theoretical divisions between representation and abstraction.