During the 50s Hartigan was featured in seven gallery exhibitions at Tibor de Nagy Gallery. She was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s pivotal exhibition “Twelve Americans” in 1956 and the traveling international exhibition “The New American Paintings,” 1958-9. During this period through legendary director Alfred Barr, MoMA acquired her painting Persian Jacket and the Whitney Museum of American Art purchased Grand Street Brides.
In 1960 Hartigan moved to Baltimore and in 1967 became the director of the Hoffberger Graduate School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Moving beyond pure abstraction, her later works examine popular culture, art history, visual culture and personal biography while maintaining the gesture and techniques of Abstract Expressionism to formulate a unique style all her own.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Life Time Achievement Award, Neuberger Museum, Purchase, NY (2002); Governors Award in Baltimore, MD (2006) and honorary degrees from Goucher College, Lafayette College, Maryland Institute College of Art, Moore College, Towson State University and Dickinson College.
Her work is in the permanent collection of many museums including Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; Boston Museum of Fine Arts, MA; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Carnegie Institute Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; Hirshhorn Museum of Art, Washington, D.C.; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN; M.I.T., Boston, MA; Museum of Modern Art, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; The Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; St. Louis Art Museum, MO; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN and Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.
A homecoming for Abstract Expressionist Grace Hartigan at The Armory ShowThe Art Newspaper, Karen Chernick Sep 7, 2022A solo stand of the second-generation AbEx artist’s work gives a fuller picture of her evolution over more than 50 years Now this second-generation Abstract Expressionist is being singled out in the city where it all started for her, with a solo presentation at The Armory Show with ACA Galleries (which represented Hartigan during her lifetime, and then her estate after her death in 2008). It will include nine paintings and illustrates every decade of her career from the 1950s to the 2000s.
What AbEx Women Can Teach Us about Today’s Gold Rush for Female ArtistsArtsy, Mary Gabriel Nov 6, 2018In socioeconomic terms, the Abstract Expressionist movement in New York can be divided into two eras: the first featuring obscurity and poverty, and the second, fortune and fame. But there was very little by way of a transitional bridge between those two periods, which made the arrival of a flood of cash and notoriety in the mid-1950s oddly destabilizing for the artists working in New York. As their colleague, the writer Harold Rosenberg, said, “They lost their minds.…It was the money. Just like schmucks in Hollywood. This hit them much too strong and much too organized.”