As one of the first Americans to experiment with surrealism in the early 1930s, illustrator and painter Walter Quirt made pioneering efforts to change society for the better through art that was as political as it was self-aware. Quirt’s radical beliefs and unpredictable personality went hand-in-hand with his ever-changing artistic style, and his passionate temperament allowed him to create a body of work ranging from colorful depictions of simple joy to profoundly haunting masterpieces.
Quirt was a significant contributor to the canon of 20th century American avante-garde, represented in New York between 1936 and 1959, by the top galleries including Julien Levy and Durlocher Brothers. Robert Coates, art critic for The New Yorker, and the critic who coined the term, “Abstract Expressionism”, described Quirt in 1943 as …one of the most impassioned artists alive today!”
Between 1960 and 1962, a retrospective sponsored by The Ford Foundation and distributed by The American Federation of Art traveled the United States.
Walter Quirt’s work is included in over twenty-five permanent collections including The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); The Whitney Museum of American Art: The Smithsonian Museum of American Art; The deYoung Museum; The Museum of Modern Art/San Francisco; The Walker Art Center; The Henry Art Gallery; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art; and many others.
Upon his passing in 1968, due to the wishes of his widow, Eleanor, Quirt’s work was lovingly maintained intact by the family and has remained virtually hidden until recently. The first important retrospective since 1980, “REVOLUTIONS UNSEEN”, curated by Mr. Travis Wilson, was held by the gallery in May 2015.
In May 2016, the gallery opened “WALTER QUIRT: WORKS ON PAPER, 1956-1964”, exhibiting over twenty paintings – acrylic on paper – most of which had never been seen since their execution over half a century earlier.
November 2017 will mark what would’ve been Quirt’s 115th birthday. In honor of that occasion, the gallery will open “WALTER QUIRT: A SCIENCE OF LIFE”, an important retrospective featuring paintings, drawings, and works on paper, dating from 1942-1967. In conjunction with this seminal exhibition, an important catalogue of the same name is being published, featuring new essays and information largely focusing on Quirt’s last twenty years as a painter. (See EVENTS & EXHIBITIONS Page for updates)
FREDERICK HOLMES AND COMPANY – GALLERY OF MODERN & CONTEMPORARY ART Is Proud To Be The Exclusive National Representative For The Art-Historic Estate of Seminal American Modernist, Walter Quirt.
To Read Recent Art And Antiques Article, “THE RETURN OF WALTER QUIRT” (November, 2016 Issue) Please Click Here:AA 40-44 AP.Walter Quirt
To View “WALTER QUIRT: REVOLUTIONS UNSEEN” Exhibition Catalogue (2015) Click: Walter Quirt Catalog PDF