Harvey Quaytman

American, 1937–2002

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Blue chip status
Blue-chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.

Notable works

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Career highlights
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
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Bio

Harvey Quaytman, a self-professed “classical modernist,” began his career in the 1960s at a time when painting had been declared dead. An under-recognized figure in the written history of modernist abstraction, yet always an artist’s artist with a wide range of influence, Quaytman was perceived through the lenses of Constructivism, Minimalism, and Abstract Expressionism. He was also influenced by such visual cues as Islamic calligraphy and the curved wings of airplanes and birds, references that emerge as his oeuvre shifted from the rectangular canvas to the monumental shaped canvasses that are acknowledged as moving abstract painting toward a more sculptural form, reshaping the trajectory of American painting in the 1960s and ’70s. Known for these eccentrically shaped works as well as his later rust cross paintings, Quaytman was a master of color and texture. He skillfully poured paint, spreading Rhoplex over canvas with broad wallpaper brushes after dusting it with pure pigment that settled in thick, unpredictable strata. He later flecked canvas with glass or iron filings and used additives such as marble dust in paint he always mixed himself. He often worked years to find the perfect form for an image, and when asked by an interviewer what the point was of abstraction in a fractured world, he answered, “If you are able to concentrate everything you believe into your work, then it’s ethically and socially valuable.”

Works for sale

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Shows featuring Harvey Quaytman

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