For its second exhibition of the 2018 summer season, Quogue Gallery will continue its rediscovery of the Harry Bertschmann Collection from June 21 to July 19, 2018. An artist reception for “Harry Bertschmann: Over 50 Years of Painting” will be held on Sunday, July 1, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the gallery at 44 Quogue Street in Quogue.

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"Ab-Ex Shapes No. 32" by Harry Bertschmann, 2000s. Acrylic on paper, 23 x 30 inches. Courtesy of Quogue Gallery.

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The exhibition at the gallery follows the successful Quogue Gallery new launch of the abstract master’s works at the Art Palm Beach fair in January 2018 and the 2018 Art on Paper fair in Manhattan in March. With more  than 25 paintings from the 1950s up to the 1990s on view, the exhibition will include paintings from Bertschmann’s many different series, including work from the Stuttgart Series, the Ab-Ex Shapes Series, the Bank Street Series, and the Subway Series.

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"Bank Street Series No. 37" by Harry Bertschmann, 1978 - 1985. Acrylic on canvas, 53 x 60.5 inches. Courtesy of Quogue Gallery.

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The year 2018 began with the not-so-surprising rediscovery of a painter who is being added to the pantheon of significant abstract expressionist masters. The Harry Bertschmann story first broke in The New York Times on Sunday, January 7, 2018 in a story by writer Susan Chumsky. Since then the artist has quickly achieved once again a high level of acclaim from art historians, which has been a source of delight for collectors.

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"Stuttgart Series No. 37" by Harry Bertschmann, 1958. Casein dry pigments on paper board, 18 x 25 inches. Courtesy of Quogue Gallery.

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The 87-year-old Bertschmann enjoyed many solo exhibitions at museums and galleries during the 1950s. In 1958 the jury of the prestigious Carnegie International selected him as its youngest exhibitor—and one of his large abstract expressionist paintings hung beside those by Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Barnett Newman, Philip Guston, and Robert Motherwell. He was represented by the Howard Wise Gallery in New York City for eight years, and in 1961 Bertschmann’s solo exhibition followed one for Elaine de Kooning.

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"Underground Series No. 4" by Harry Bertschmann,1970s. Acrylic on paper, 25.25 x 40.25 inches. Courtesy of Quogue Gallery.

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After settling in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s, Bertschmann drifted from the gallery scene because he was leading a creative double life. His training at the famous Basel School of Design led him to become an innovator in graphic design, and many of his commercial logos and packaging designs have become pervasive in American culture. The logos and packaging for Kent and Newport cigarettes, Nestlé’s, and Bufferin are but a few of his creations. In 1997 the artist was honored with a retrospective in Basel. Despite earning a living from his commercial projects, he was resolute in painting every day.

Art critic and historian Prof. Robert C. Morgan described Bertschmann’s vision as “abstract gestural signs that suggest a language … Bertschmann is essentially an art world outsider looking inward. He is a seasoned artist, a highly creative artist, an articulate individual, and a nearly obsessive worker, always willing to stand back and examine what he does before moving ahead. He is also an exemplary draughtsman … His atelier is a phenomenon to behold.”

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"Haiku Series No. 51" by Harry Bertschmann, 2004. Acrylic on paper, 7 x 10.75 inches. Courtesy of Quogue Gallery.

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ABOUT QUOGUE GALLERY

As Quogue’s first and only private art gallery, the Quogue Gallery is a dynamic space in the Hamptons where artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts can meet and share their common passion for serious artistic investigation and appreciation. The gallery’s mission is to present a program of artistic excellence not limited to any genre or medium. Its focus is on modern and contemporary art created by emerging, established, and historically important artists. An essential aspect of the mission is to establish the gallery as an active, vibrant, and inventive participant in the Hamptons art panorama, with artist talks and events that significantly contribute to modern and contemporary art discourse. www.quoguegallery.com

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