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John Hartell Biography

American artist John Hartell (1902-1995) was an active painter for over sixty years. While much of his work can be described as impressionistic and abstract, he diligently developed a style of his own during a period known for the rise of Abstract Expressionism. Hartell was a master of color with a keen interest in natural environments.

Depictions of architecture were often in his work. Hartell said that his paintings were not of or about a specific site. They appeal to the senses, inviting the viewer to bring his or her own perceptions. Over a long career, he was noted for experiments in color – “so vibrant, nuanced, and luminous,” Verlaine Boyd noted in a 1982 catalogue essay, “that it often dominates the initial experience of his work.”

Born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1902, Hartell exhibited for almost five decades at Kraushaar Galleries in New York City. His work was included in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Whitney Museum of American Art, and elsewhere. He is represented in many public collections – including the Brooklyn Museum, Cornell’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum, and the Washington County Museum of Art in Hagerstown, MD, which held a retrospective exhibition several years ago, as well as numerous private collections.

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