Grace Hartigan b. 1922, Newark, New Jersey; d. 2008, Baltimore, Maryland
Oil on canvas
78 3/4 x 106 3/4 inches (200 x 271 cm)
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 1976
Grace Hartigan’s paintings were included in The New American Painting, an exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, that traveled to eight European cities from 1958 to 1959, making her one of the few women painters to receive a level of exposure comparable to her counterparts in the Abstract Expressionist movement, like Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, and Jackson Pollock. Hartigan, an artist of Irish descent, also visited Europe for the first time in 1958 and traveled extensively in Ireland. On her return to the United States, she painted a series of pictures with titles relating to her travels, of which Ireland (1958) is the largest. Though in no sense landscapes, or pictures with any literal subject matter, they constitute for the artist abstract evocations of place, and in that sense are deeply rooted in her experience of Ireland.