Grace Hartigan was a leading Abstract Expressionist painter known for combining gestural abstraction with imagery derived from art history and popular culture. Born on March 28, 1922 in Newark, NJ, critics and historians have called Hartigan both a second-generation Abstract Expressionist painter and a forebear of Pop art, though she was not satisfied with either categorization. Hartigan moved to the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York in 1945. Settled in the city, Hartigan quickly immersed herself in the milieu of Abstract Expressionists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Adolph Gottlieb. In 1950, Clement Greenberg and Meyer Schapiro selected the artist to be included in the “New Talent” exhibition at Samuel Kootz Gallery. Over the following decade, Hartigan began incorporating imagery into her work, culling both from painting history and her surroundings. In explaining the content and purpose of her work, Hartigan once said: “perhaps the subject of my art is like the definition of humor—emotional pain remembered in tranquility.” Hartigan painted intensely colored, gestural figures, inspired by coloring books, film, canonical painting, and advertising.