Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008

Grace Hartigan, 1922-2008

In the 1950s, Hartigan was one of the "second generation" of Abstract Expressionist painters. Her canvases were charged fields of jagged form and sophisticated color that made sly references to recognizable things. Success came early — in 1958, when she was 26, Life magazine called her "the most celebrated of the young American women painters." But in the 1960s she married a research scientist and moved to Baltimore, away from the spotlight of the New York art world. And very soon her kind of painting was being overtaken by the arrival of Pop and Minimalism. Her star faded, but the power of her best work never did.

Richard Lacayo

See pictures of Barack Obama on Flickr.