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Lithograph with silkscreen on white paper, in a cream-colored lacquer frame. Edition 60: this impression 48/60. Signed by the artist with initials and numbered 48/60 in pencil lower right. A hanging wire is suspended on the reverse, enabling instant hanging on a wall. The framed work is pre-packed in a box ready for shipping as in the photograph above. Frame 25 x 19 x 2 cm / 9.75 x 7.5 x .75 in.
This mixed-media lithograph with silkscreen depicts two doric columns against sky-blue and black, with two vibrant green leaves on the left. Black crosshatching and graphite strokes define the background. On the left, translucent red forms a column, while the right-hand column is loosely sketched in grey and black. This playful composition suggests two figures chatting. Tiny leaves to the left evince the characteristic charm and warmth that Hurson imparted to his subjects.
Hurson was a life-long theater aficionado, even writing and producing a surreal theater piece entitled ‘Red and Blue’ at the Public Theater’s Other Stage in 1982. The production featured two light bulbs engaged in humorous, philosophical dialogue. In Two Columns, stylized greco-roman pillars atop the background’s flat planes of color suggest the set of a play. Columns are a repeated motif in Hurson’s work, perhaps standing in for human figures or suggesting the mythological.
This work will be shipped in its original packaging, measuring 27.5 x 21.5 x 4 cm / 10.75 x 8.5 x 1.5 in.
Born in Ohio in 1941, and raised in Chicago, Michael Hurson earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the Art Institute in 1963. Hurson came to prominence after he was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 1978 “New Image Painting” exhibition. Including such artists as Jennifer Bartlett, Robert Moskowitz, Susan Rothenberg, and Joe Zucker, the exhibition was considered a landmark return to figuration.
A favorite of New York Times art critic Roberta Smith, Hurson drew with a stylish, satirical energy, imbuing everyday objects such as eyeglasses, pencils, and coat hangers with playfully mythological significance. Hurson frequently paired anthropomorphic objects in his compositions, suggesting a dialogue or narrative between forms. Hurson’s witty, intentionally loose mark-making find a parallel to the style of Phillip Guston, with whom Hurson exhibited on numerous occasions.
Hurson often mined art history, experimenting with multi-planed compositions recalling the work of Cubist painters, and producing thoughtfully-sketched interpretations of famous masterpieces such as Georges Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grande Jatte.”
Hurson’s work is represented in numerous public collections, including those of the Modern, the Whitney, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. He has been represented by Paula Cooper Gallery since 1982.