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‘Dublin’ by Grace Hartigan, which sold for $525,000 ($682,500 with buyer’s premium) at Revere Auctions on March 20.

Grace Hartigan abstract painting commands $682K at Revere

ST. PAUL, Minn.– This large abstract expressionist painting titled Dublin, by Grace Hartigan (1922-2008) was created between 1958 and 1959 as part of the artist’s European Place painting series, which followed her travels to eight European cities. The pictures were not literal views of where she visited, but rather ‘evocations of place.’

Hartigan had become associated with the New York School of avant-garde artists in the early 1950s, and was notably close to Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Alfred Leslie, and Franz Kline.

Dublin, rendered in muted colors with splashes of bright blue and purple, is very similar to a work in the collection of the Guggenheim titled Ireland, which is the largest work in this series. Hartigan felt a special affinity for her “dear, dirty Dublin,” which reminded her of New York as well as her Irish heritage. The white linear patterns to the lower edge of this picture are, she later revealed, a reference to her relationship with Franz Kline. She has described them as “a love letter to Franz.”

The 6ft 10in square canvas was exhibited in 1960 as part of the Contemporary American Painting exhibition at the Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts in Ohio and later sold by the Tibor de Nagy Gallery of New York. It was offered in the March 20 Fine Art Evening Sale at Revere Auctions from a private collection in Minnesota. Estimated at $150,000-$200,000, it hammered for $525,000 ($682,500 with buyer’s premium).