Grace Hartigan and Larry Rivers: Poetry in Painting

Nov 16, 2021 - Mar 5, 2022
Installation Views
Press release
New York, NY – We are pleased to announce a two–person exhibition featuring artworks by Larry Rivers and Grace Hartigan. The exhibition, The Poetry of Painting, is on view at ACA Galleries through January 29, 2022. 
 
Widely regarded as two of the most important members of the New York School, the friendship and artistic parallels between Grace Hartigan and Larry Rivers are often overlooked. At the moment when Abstract Expressionism was at its zenith, both artists chose to incorporate representation into their tableaux, anticipating and influencing what was soon to become Pop Art. Hartigan and Rivers were pivotal not only in re-introducing figuration but in their choice of subject matter -which ranged from mundane household and studio objects to imagery lifted from popular culture- is equally as important. The overlap between them extended far beyond the studio into shared galleries and social circles which not only included artists but the most influential poets of their generation including Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch and Barbara Guest.
 
The Poetry of Painting, largely focused on late works, investigates the mature artistic output of two fiercely independent artists who continually developed singular styles over five decades. The dynamic juxtapositions of their paintings, assemblages, collages and works on paper demonstrate their divergent techniques to represent similar subjects to powerful effect.
 
About Grace Hartigan (1922 – 2008) 
Grace Hartigan spent her childhood in New Jersey and at twenty-three moved to New York’s Lower East Side. There, she was exposed to the central figures of Abstract Expressionism and began a rich career despite the challenges sexism presented. From the beginning her paintings uniquely fused representational elements to the principles of Ab-Ex and thus prefigured Pop Art.
 
Grace Hartigan’s work was included in MoMA’s 1956 exhibition Twelve Americans and in 1958 in the seminal New American Painting exhibition which toured Europe through 1959. Hartigan went on to teach at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and in 1965 became its director. In 1993, she was included in the Whitney Museum’s Hand Painted Pop exhibition, a testament to the durability of her vision and place in the contemporary American canon. Her work continues to be exhibited in museums and galleries in America and around the world and is held in major collections including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Boston’s Museum of Fine Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and many others.
 
About Larry Rivers (1923 – 2002)
Larry Rivers was born and raised in New York. He began painting in 1945 after a brief career as a jazz saxophonist and studied at the Hans Hoffman school from 1947-48. In the early 60’s, Rivers lived in the famous Hotel Chelsea where he mingled with many other important artists, musicians, and poets. Known by many as the grandfather of pop art, Rivers explored everyday objects and American popular culture in his non-objective non-narrative paintings.
 
In 1955 Rivers’ work gained traction after he was one of eleven New York artists included in the opening exhibition of Terrain Gallery. In 1965 he had his first retrospective, which traveled to five major American museums. The last work he contributed to the exhibition, The History of the Russian Revolution, is on permanent display at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery in Washington, DC. His work is included in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Tate Gallery amongst many other prominent institutions.
Artworks
  • Larry Rivers Cornucopia, 1993 Oil on canvas mounted on sculpted foamboard (Construct) 42 x 53 x 3 in. 106.7 x 134.6 x 7.6 cm
    Larry Rivers
    Cornucopia, 1993
    Oil on canvas mounted on sculpted foamboard (Construct)
    42 x 53 x 3 in.
    106.7 x 134.6 x 7.6 cm
  • Larry Rivers Fashion Today, 1998 Oil on canvas mounted on wood 53 x 41 x 4 in. 134.6 x 104.1 x 10.2 cm
    Larry Rivers
    Fashion Today, 1998
    Oil on canvas mounted on wood
    53 x 41 x 4 in.
    134.6 x 104.1 x 10.2 cm
  • Larry Rivers Hayground Pond and the House of Charles Rydel, Windy Hill (Collaboration with K. Koch), 1977 Pencil and colored pencil on paper 14 x 17 in. 35.6 x 43.2 cm
    Larry Rivers
    Hayground Pond and the House of Charles Rydel, Windy Hill (Collaboration with K. Koch), 1977
    Pencil and colored pencil on paper
    14 x 17 in.
    35.6 x 43.2 cm
  • Larry Rivers Heroes Of Chushingura, 1974 Acrylic on canvas and panel 97 x 138 in. 246.4 x 350.5 cm
    Larry Rivers
    Heroes Of Chushingura, 1974
    Acrylic on canvas and panel
    97 x 138 in.
    246.4 x 350.5 cm
  • Larry Rivers John Ashbery-Cottage Grove, 1977 Pencil and colored pencil on paper 31 x 30 in. 78.7 x 76.2 cm
    Larry Rivers
    John Ashbery-Cottage Grove, 1977
    Pencil and colored pencil on paper
    31 x 30 in.
    78.7 x 76.2 cm
  • Larry Rivers Make Believe Ballroom; The Dip, 1987 Oil on canvas mounted on sculpted foamboard (Construct) 66 x 62 x 5 in. 167.6 x 157.5 x 12.7 cm
    Larry Rivers
    Make Believe Ballroom; The Dip, 1987
    Oil on canvas mounted on sculpted foamboard (Construct)
    66 x 62 x 5 in.
    167.6 x 157.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Larry Rivers Next to Last Confederate Soldier, 1960 oil on magazine cover 8 x 5 1/2 in. 20.3 x 14.0 cm
    Larry Rivers
    Next to Last Confederate Soldier, 1960
    oil on magazine cover
    8 x 5 1/2 in.
    20.3 x 14.0 cm
  • Larry Rivers The Beach at Coopers (with Kenneth Koch), 1977 Pencil, colored pencil, and acetate on paper 18 x 24 in. 45.7 x 61.0 cm
    Larry Rivers
    The Beach at Coopers (with Kenneth Koch), 1977
    Pencil, colored pencil, and acetate on paper
    18 x 24 in.
    45.7 x 61.0 cm
  • Larry Rivers The Mystery of Objects, 1991 Oil on canvas mounted on sculpted foamboard (Construct) 60 x 65 x 4 in. 152.4 x 165.1 x 10.2 cm
    Larry Rivers
    The Mystery of Objects, 1991
    Oil on canvas mounted on sculpted foamboard (Construct)
    60 x 65 x 4 in.
    152.4 x 165.1 x 10.2 cm
  • Larry Rivers This is Your Alphabet- A Collaboration with Kenneth Koch, 2002 Colored pencil on paper 23 x 29 in. 58.4 x 73.7 cm
    Larry Rivers
    This is Your Alphabet- A Collaboration with Kenneth Koch, 2002
    Colored pencil on paper
    23 x 29 in.
    58.4 x 73.7 cm
  • Larry Rivers Toucan, Woodpecker, Humming, Secretary Birds, 1990 Pencil on paper mounted on sculpted foamboard (Construct) 25 x 41 x 4 in. 63.5 x 104.1 x 10.2 cm
    Larry Rivers
    Toucan, Woodpecker, Humming, Secretary Birds, 1990
    Pencil on paper mounted on sculpted foamboard (Construct)
    25 x 41 x 4 in.
    63.5 x 104.1 x 10.2 cm
  • Grace Hartigan Barbara Guest Archaics, 1968 Collage 30 x 24 in. 76.2 x 61.0 cm
    Grace Hartigan
    Barbara Guest Archaics, 1968
    Collage
    30 x 24 in.
    76.2 x 61.0 cm
  • Grace Hartigan Barbara Guest Archaics, 1968 Collage 24 x 30 in. 61.0 x 76.2 cm
    Grace Hartigan
    Barbara Guest Archaics, 1968
    Collage
    24 x 30 in.
    61.0 x 76.2 cm
  • Grace Hartigan Black Clock (After Cezanne), 1992 Oil on canvas 60 x 72 in. 152.4 x 182.9 cm
    Grace Hartigan
    Black Clock (After Cezanne), 1992
    Oil on canvas
    60 x 72 in.
    152.4 x 182.9 cm
  • Grace Hartigan Fischer Island, 1987 Collage 40 x 32 in. 101.6 x 81.3 cm
    Grace Hartigan
    Fischer Island, 1987
    Collage
    40 x 32 in.
    101.6 x 81.3 cm
  • Grace Hartigan Hollywood Interior, 1993 Oil on canvas 66 x 78 in. 167.6 x 198.1 cm
    Grace Hartigan
    Hollywood Interior, 1993
    Oil on canvas
    66 x 78 in.
    167.6 x 198.1 cm
  • Grace Hartigan Kabuki Warrior and Concubine, 1999 Oil on canvas 72 x 84 in. 182.9 x 213.4 cm
    Grace Hartigan
    Kabuki Warrior and Concubine, 1999
    Oil on canvas
    72 x 84 in.
    182.9 x 213.4 cm
  • Grace Hartigan Maria Montez, 2006 Oil on canvas 54 x 48 in. 137.2 x 121.9 cm
    Grace Hartigan
    Maria Montez, 2006
    Oil on canvas
    54 x 48 in.
    137.2 x 121.9 cm
  • Grace Hartigan St. Croix Interior, 2003 Oil on canvas 72 x 60 in. 182.9 x 152.4 cm
    Grace Hartigan
    St. Croix Interior, 2003
    Oil on canvas
    72 x 60 in.
    182.9 x 152.4 cm
  • Grace Hartigan Still Life with Bulldog, 2003 Oil on canvas 72 x 72 in. 182.9 x 182.9 cm
    Grace Hartigan
    Still Life with Bulldog, 2003
    Oil on canvas
    72 x 72 in.
    182.9 x 182.9 cm
Virtual Exhibition