Artwork Details

Grace Hartigan

1922 – 2008

Oil on canvas
72 x 80 inches
Not on view
Accession Number
Museum Purchase
Image Copyright
© Estate of Grace Hartigan

About the Artwork

If you’re an extraordinarily gifted woman, the door is open. What women are fighting for is the right to be as mediocre as men.”

An influential American painter, Hartigan was known initially as a key participant in the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1950s, and afterwards for blending figurative and abstract content. She soon became frustrated with the purist attitude of the abstract expressionists and began to incorporate figures into her work — a change that alienated some of her former associates: powerful art critic Clement Greenberg and friends Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. Hartigan nonetheless continued to forge her own artistic path throughout her life.

Riviera, which Hartigan painted in 1966, is a dynamic composition that features boldly colored, semi-abstract shapes and forms outlined in black. The work is an example of how physical a painting can feel and how much of the artist’s energy remains on the canvas.