Carl Holty

German/American, 1900-1973 Biography

Known for his floating, luminous, highly-colorful forms, Carl Holty belongs to the school of pure geometric abstract artists, none more renowned than Piet Mondrian. 

Holty, a native of Germany, came to the United States as an infant and grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Academy of Design in New York, and then went to Munich to enroll in the Hans Hofmann School, where he was exposed to Abstract Expressionism.  Holty's early work also shows the influence of Fauvist colors and the work of French artists Maurice de Vlaminck and André Derain. 

By the 1960s, Holty was creating paintings that were dominated by large color fields, rendered with thinly washed fluid areas within subtly toned spaces that revealed the influences of such abstract expressionist artists as Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler. A student of Hans Hofmann and his color theories of expanding dimensions and exuberant colors in abstractions, Holty essentially paved the way for the abstract expressionist movement and its following by the Color Field painters. 

Throughout his life as an artist, Holty was constantly developing his vision of abstraction. Along with Hans Hofmann, Stuart Davis and Vaclav Vytlacil, Holty helped to found the organization known as the American Abstract Artists. An icon in the annals of American contemporary art, Holty is best remembered for his use of color, shape and form.

Exhibitions:
Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors, Milwaukee Art Institute, Wisconsin, 1921-1926
Galerie de la Nouvelle Epoque, Paris, France, 1927
Solo exhibition, Simonson Galerie, Paris, France, 1928
Milwaukee Art Institute, Wisconsin, 1933 and 1935
J.B. Neumann, New Art Circle Gallery, New York, New York, 1936-1937
Nierdendorf Gallery, New York, New York, 1938-1943
World Fair, New York, New York, 1939-1940
Mortimer Brandt Gallery, New York, New York, 1944
Denver Art Museum, Colorado, 1944
Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio, 1944
San Francisco Art Museum, California, 1944
Abstract and Surrealist Art in America, Seattle Art Museum, Washington, 1944
J.B. Neumann, New Art Circle Gallery, New York, New York, 1944
Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Painting, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York, 1945
Samuel Kootz Gallery, New York, New York, 1945-1948
Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1946 and 1947
Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Painting, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York, 1947
Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1948
American Painting Today, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, 1950
Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 1951
J.B. Neumann, New Art Circle Gallery, New York, New York, 1952-1953
Graham Gallery, New York, New York, 1955-1956
Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana, 1963
Some Recent Gifts, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York, 1965
Annual Exhibition of American Painting, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York, 1965
The 1930s Painting and Sculpture in America, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York, 1968
Georgia State University, Atlanta, 1968
Birmingham Southern College, Alabama, 1968
Carl Holty: Recent Paintings, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, 1968
American Painting from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Collection, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York, 1969
Carl Holty/Fifty Years: A Retrospective Exhibition, The Graduate Center Mall, The City University of New York, New York, 1972
Carl Holty Memorial Exhibition, Andrew Crispo Gallery, New York, New York, 1973
Carl Holty: The World Seen and Sensed, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin, 1980-81

Museums/Collections:
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Archer M Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas, Austin
Brooklyn Museum, New York
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
Carnegie Institute Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, Illinois
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York
Milwaukee Art Institute, Wisconsin
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota
Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

Oil on canvas
66 x 52 inches
Signed lower left: Holty
Executed 1966

Provenance:
Estate of Carl Holty

Exhibitions
City University Graduate Center, New York City, New York