Jenni Quilter reviews Restless Ambition: Grace Hartigan, Painter by Cathy Curtis, published by Oxford.
Quilter notes "When Hartigan had used oil paint in the 1950s in New York her ideas about colour were articulated by the texture of the paint and her brushstrokes. You couldn’t speak of a white or red without noticing her application of it, and the emotion was in the effort; there is often the sense you are looking at the traces of a fight. In Baltimore, Hartigan started to experiment with washes of watercolour, and black outlines. The effect seemed effortless, even casual. The colours glow, more gas than solid ... Hartigan’s pleasure in perceiving colour, shape and line. Her love of Matisse is obvious. "