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Figures in Motion-The Mid-Century Paintings of Walter Quirt

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1

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Date: 
Saturday, 21 September 2019 to Wednesday, 16 October 2019
Opening: 
Saturday, 21 September 2019 - 6:00pm

There are few stories as uniquely captivating as that of the life and legacy of American artist Walter Quirt. As a pioneer of the social-surrealist movement in New York in the 1930s and 40s, a member of the radical John Reed Club, a longstanding WPA muralist, and an outspoken and uncompromising defender of his own beliefs, who was known for publicly calling Salvador Dalí a fascist and once threw Peggy Guggenheim out of his own studio, Quirt’s life story reads like a fascinating hollywood biopic. And, while his paintings can be found in 28 major museums including SFMOMA, de Young, Smithsonian and MoMA his contribution to 20th century art history has been largely overlooked since his death in 1968. For fear of “letting him go”, Quirt’s widow, Eleanor, refused to posthumously market and exhibit his work, and as a result his estate remained untouched until Eleanor’s death in 2009, housed at The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, where Quirt was a professor. After her passing, Quirt’s three sons stored and maintained the estate until its rediscovery in 2015, and since then there have been two comprehensive retrospectives and multiple museum placements.Figures in Motion, however, is the first contemporary exhibition to focus solely on Quirt’s Mid-Century figurative pieces.

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Artist ( Description ): 

There are few stories as uniquely captivating as that of the life and legacy of American artist Walter Quirt. As a pioneer of the social-surrealist movement in New York in the 1930s and 40s, a member of the radical John Reed Club, a longstanding WPA muralist, and an outspoken and uncompromising defender of his own beliefs, who was known for publicly calling Salvador Dalí a fascist and once threw Peggy Guggenheim out of his own studio, Quirt’s life story reads like a fascinating hollywood biopic. And, while his paintings can be found in 28 major museums including SFMOMA, de Young, Smithsonian and MoMA his contribution to 20th century art history has been largely overlooked since his death in 1968. For fear of “letting him go”, Quirt’s widow, Eleanor, refused to posthumously market and exhibit his work, and as a result his estate remained untouched until Eleanor’s death in 2009, housed at The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, where Quirt was a professor. After her passing, Quirt’s three sons stored and maintained the estate until its rediscovery in 2015, and since then there have been two comprehensive retrospectives and multiple museum placements.Figures in Motion, however, is the first contemporary exhibition to focus solely on Quirt’s Mid-Century figurative pieces.

Telephone: 
415-397-0114
Venue ( Address ): 

357 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 

CK Contemporary , San Francisco

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