David hare with an essay by Ellen Russotto
This book has been published on the occasion of the exhibition David Hare at Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco September 22–October 25, 2012 Weinstein Gallery 383 Geary Street San Francisco, California 94102 www.weinstein.com © 2012 Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco Essay and chronology © 2012 Ellen Russotto Publication directed and edited by Jasmine Moorhead Production by Jasmine Moorhead and Nicholas Pishvanov Photography by Nicholas Pishvanov and Mark Baugh-Sasaki Exhibition support directed by Simon Hubbard Designed by Linda Corwin, Avantgraphics Text set in Martin Gothic Printed by California Lithographers, Concord, California Printed in the United States of America Images on pages 6 and 46: courtesy of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives, New York, exhibition records A0003; image on page 9: courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History, New York
Front cover: Man with Hoops (page 19) in David Hare’s studio, c. 1948 Back cover: Leda and the Swan, Night, 1966. See page 43. Pages 3 and 100: Installation views of the David Hare exhibition at Weinstein Gallery
foreword Rowland Weinstein
“Any rabbit knows to keep alive is to keep moving.” — David Hare
or nearly a decade, Weinstein Gallery has been dedicated to bringing to light the rich period of art history that saw an unprecedented exchange of artistic and intellectual ideas between the exiled European Surrealists and their American counterparts in the years surrounding World War II. Unquestionably, one of the most significant players in this cultural evolution was the young David Hare, described by the important dealer Julien Levy aptly as “brilliant, taciturn, and full of promise.” Hare was a brassy twenty-four year old whose artistic path was just beginning when André Breton and the old guard of the Surrealist movement arrived in New York City. Hare was one of only a few Americans to be accepted among this community as one of their own. His immediate comfort with and recognition by this group was due to his charming, straightforward, and self-assured character, as well as his enthusiastic embrace of mythology and the automatism reflected in his early photography and sculptures. For the David Hare, 1981
Surrealists, Hare—as a man, artist, and intellectual—perfectly embodied their temporarily adopted country. Not surprisingly, Hare quickly found himself in a pivotal role between Surrealism and the art that was developing in his native New York that would be termed “Abstract Expressionism.” Invited by Breton to edit his new Surrealist magazine VVV, Hare was now working alongside Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst and showed his photography in the First Papers of Surrealism exhibition organized to announce Surrealist art in America. Peggy Guggenheim, the pioneering art dealer whose gallery Art of This Century was one of the key proponents of both avant-garde and Abstract Expressionist artists, gave Hare his first solo sculpture exhibition in 1944. Guggenheim’s praise was unwavering, describing him as “the best sculptor since Giacometti, Calder, and Moore.” Other than Jackson Pollock, Hare would be the second most exhibited artist in the gallery’s history. Over the next few decades, Hare’s star would continue to rise as his work was included in some of the most groundbreaking exhibitions and galleries of the day, including Bloodflames organized by Nicolas Calas in 1947 at Hugo Gallery; Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme at Galerie Maeght, Paris; solo exhibitions at Art of This Century and at Julien Levy’s eponymous gallery; as well as eighteen solo shows at Kootz Gallery. Clement Greenberg, the preeminent critic of the time and the earliest champion of the Abstract Expressionists, stated: “Hare has already shown enough promise to place him in the forefront of what now begins to seem, not a renaissance, but a naissance of sculpture in America.” Hare’s work was also being collected and exhibited by museums throughout the United States. Two visionary
curators from the West Coast were among the first to see Hare’s genius: Grace McCann Morley of the San Francisco Museum of Art (now SFMOMA) and Douglas MacAgy of the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco both acquired pieces in the 1940s. Hare was selected for several historically important exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art (which also collected several works), including Fourteen Americans of 1946 and, two decades later in 1968, the retrospective survey of Surrealism’s impact, Dada, Surrealism and Their Heritage. Hare also exhibited in the first São Paulo Bienial in 1951 and in numerous exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art including several Annuals and The New Decade: 3 5 American Painters and Sculptors in 1954. Hare also, at this time, formed great lifelong friendships with a wide range of artists and intellectuals—Marcel Duchamp, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jackson Pollock, and the influential art critic Harold Rosenberg to name a few. His various studios, in both the East and West Village, served as central meeting places, and Hare found himself as part of a community of artists that would soon be recognized as the New York School. As one of the key players in the attempt to define this burgeoning art movement in America, Hare, along with Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell, and Baziotes, founded The Subjects of the Artists School in 1948, a formal discussion group that focused on the pressing issues of contemporary art. In the early 1960s, at the height of his renown as a sculptor, Hare took the unusual but important step of starting to paint. He described his move to painting: “I really didn’t want to stop making sculpture—it wasn’t that I lost interest in sculpture, but I got tired of being limited to an object.” To him the benefit of painting was that “there are certain
things you absolutely cannot express in three dimensions. . . . And painting doesn’t exist; it’s not there. So you don’t have to fight the reality.” Over the course of more than a decade Hare obsessed over, worked through and again, a series of paintings and drawings surrounding the Cronus myth. The culmination of this work was a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in 1977, cited by Rosenberg as one of the most significant shows of the year. But Hare was nothing if not an independent spirit. His prescient comments during the important artists’ roundtable discussion in 1950, “Artists’ Sessions at Studio 35,” would set the tone for the later part of his career: “The artist is a man who functions beyond or ahead of his society. In any case, seldom within it. . . . Some feel badly because they are not accepted by the public. We shouldn’t be accepted by the public. As soon as we are accepted we are no longer artists but decorators. . . . [The public] may agree in the course of years. They won’t agree now.” In accordance with his earlier convictions, following
his Guggenheim show Hare largely retreated out of the public eye, eventually moving from his New York studio to live almost exclusively in the wilderness peace of his Idaho home. He felt content in the last decades of his life to paint and sculpt as his own vision commanded, leaving the task of a full understanding of the work to later generations. It is with this in mind that Weinstein Gallery is especially proud to announce our representation of the Estate of David Hare. We present this five-decade retrospective of this art pioneer in order to fully take up the task that David Hare left for us. We are grateful to Ellen Russotto, art historian and director of the David Hare Catalogue Raisonné, for her insightful essay which follows, as well as Therry Frey Hare of the David Hare Estate for her encouragement and desire to help us all see Hare’s story brought back to the forefront of art history. We are pleased also to reunite Hare with his friends and peers whom Weinstein Gallery has had the privilege to represent: Enrico Donati, Jimmy Ernst, Gerome Kamrowski, and Gordon Onslow Ford. Like each of them, Hare made his own world and forged his own path as he grew older and more mature as an artist. Hare was a major figure in two of the most important art movements of the twentieth century and then used that energy as fuel for the rest of his career, in which he set out an independent course that took him perhaps farther from the art world but closer to himself. These works are rich and difficult, forceful and honest, playful and smart, fierce and kind—an exact reflection of David Hare, an artist at home in the world yet delightfully free from it.
David Hare paintings exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1977
DAVID HARE: ART AND HONESTY Ellen Russotto
avid Hare’s life weaved through the most important art historical developments of the twentieth century in the United States, crossing the heart of what Life magazine founder Henry R. Luce called “The American Century.” Hare was truly an American artist who embodied that free spirit which represented America at this moment. Described by Jean-Paul Sartre as a humanist in 1947, 1 Hare lived in the midst of the exiled Surrealists in New York, immersing himself in their adventurous philosophy, from the early 1940s through the immediate post World War II period, the same catalyst period that would give birth to the New York School and Abstract Expressionism. At the turn of mid-century, Paris would be replaced by New York City as the center of the art world. With the death of Jackson Pollock in 1956 and the emergence of the New York School artists such as Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, David Smith, as well as David Hare, the New York art scene was thereby established as the new capital of the international art world.
David Hare, c. 1942
n December 1950, David Hare was invited to speak at the Eighth Street Artists Club in New York, of which he was a member. His speech was entitled “Art and Honesty.” Better known as The Club, and spearheaded by the sculptor Philip Pavia, 2 The Club was at the center of discourse, argument, and clarification of what was to become internationally known as the New York School, the authentic pioneers of mid-century American art. Hare expressed his convictions: Each artist should and to some extent does create his own world, not a world in which we should necessarily want to live, for this is not the intention. A work of art breaks up reality and recombines it in such a manner as to enlarge our understanding of a total life. A picture, a book, a sculpture, a musical composition obviously do not live by themselves. They live through the past experiences of the observer. It is never the formula which produces the work of art, it is not even the way in which the man uses the formula, it is what the man does in spite of the formula. Only when the formula is broken in art is there progress.3 The essence of this talk was the defining philosophy motivating Hare’s art throughout his life. David Hare was born in New York City in 1917 into an affluent and well-positioned family. His mother, Elizabeth Sage Manning Goodwin Hare, sensitive and intelligent, came from and moved in the privileged circles of land barons and high society in New York and Washington, D.C. She numbered among her close friends the J. Pierpont Morgan and the Roosevelt families and artists such as Boardman Robinson, Arthur B. Davies, Walt Kuhn, and the David Hare’s Kachina collection. Photo courtesy of Merlin Hare.
Scotsman Ernest Lawson. Possibly at one time a student of Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi in Paris, Hare’s mother was a financial backer of the 1913 Armory Show in New York City and a generous benefactress of social issues, museums, and individual artists—often opening her purse and even her home to artists in need of support and freedom to work unencumbered by finances. Hare’s father, Meredith Hare—Yale University Class of 1894, member of the famed Skull and Bones senior society, and presumed follower of Gurdjieff 4—worked as a corporate attorney and was an enthusiastic supporter of his wife’s many projects. David Hare was only ten years old when his father contracted tuberculosis. His mother moved the family to
several states in the American Southwest in search of an environment suitable for Hare senior to convalesce, finally settling in Colorado. Concerned for her son’s education in a region so far from the intellectual and cultural world she knew, she founded the Fountain Valley School, a progressive boys’ school, complete with educators that she brought from the East.5 The young David Hare spent much of his free time roaming the mountains and deserts of the Western American landscape, absorbed in its natural wonders and maintaining friendships he had made earlier in New Mexico with people from the Pueblo Indian tribes. He, like his future friend Jackson Pollock, had experiences in the American Southwest and West that would inform and inspire their youthful psyches and which each would physically and spiritually extend in their maturity. For Hare it would be the Kachina6 (see photo p. 8) whose forms were made of components of animal and human parts; for Pollock it would be space, the ritual, and impermanence of sand painting. After his father succumbed to tuberculosis, Hare graduated from high school and returned to New York City with his mother. Following a futile attempt at college, he set up a commercial photography studio to pursue his “hobby,”7 his first assignments being for magazine and newspaper advertisements. Hare then established a portrait studio and, with his mother’s influence, secured commissions from notable public and private figures in American culture and society. But his greatest portrait series came when he was commissioned in 1940 at the age of twenty-two by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City to
produce a series of color photographs (unusual for the time) of members of the Pueblo tribes, most of whom were his friends. Their telling visages sometimes chronicled a psychological state of resignation as the twentieth century encroached upon their communities, yet Hare also captured the dignity that was so deeply rooted in the character of the Pueblo people. Restless, inquisitive, and bored by the tenuous labor of developing photographs once the image was captured,
One of David Hare’s photographs taken for the portfolio Pueblo Indians of New Mexico as They are Today, produced for the American Museum of Natural History, New York, 1940–41
Hare began trying to perfect various color techniques and “irritating ” 8 the negatives of studio photographs, finding in the process surprise results. It is not unlikely that he was already aware of the experimental processes of the artists Man Ray, Raoul Ubac, and Wolfgang Paalen, who by moving candle heat under a sheet of paper caused curious soot images to appear on its surface. At this same time, as German forces were encroaching upon the city of Paris, his mother’s cousin, the American painter Kay Sage, who had been living and working there within the Surrealist community, alerted her family to the dangerous situation, imploring them to rescue this group of intellectuals and artists and bring them to the United States. Hare’s first wife, the young daughter of Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor in the Roosevelt Administration, responded affirmatively, and through her mother’s intervention, American sponsors were found to relocate the group of Surrealists to New York City. As fate would have it, David Hare and his wife became the sponsors of the so-called Surrealist Pope, André Breton, and his wife, Jacqueline Lamba. Once ensconced in New York City, primarily in Greenwich Village in lower Manhattan (curiously much like the bohemian Paris from which they had come), camaraderie developed between the closely knit group of Surrealists and the precocious Hare, whose wit and quick intelligence they admired and toward which they gravitated. For them, Hare personified the genius of youth. Breton, seeking to hold together his now-in-exile group of followers in the New World, decided to publish a manifesto in the form of a magazine as propaganda for Surrealism in the Americas. Titled VVV, 9 its pages were to expound their “poetry, plastic arts, anthropology, sociology,
psychology,” and to include thoughts, philosophies, poems, and works of art in all media. It would be an adhesive to engage and hold the group focused, as well as Breton’s weapon against disintegration and disillusionment until they could return to France. However, as a foreigner living in the United States on a wartime visitor’s pass, Breton could have been deported to France had the political content of VVV been found questionable by the United States government. An American citizen was needed as a titular front who could serve as editor under Breton’s strong counsel. After considering several American candidates, he selected Hare, who was young, valiant, and willing to accept the mission. Although Hare knew no French and Breton no English, Jacqueline Lamba did speak English and became the translator for her husband. While simultaneously falling in love, Hare and Lamba brought to fruition all three editions of VVV. More than a translator, Lamba became a conduit to Hare of the language of Surrealism; by clarifying the possibilities offered by Surrealism, she brought a refined and sophisticated intelligence to his ever receptive and intuitive mind. A few years later in 1946 and by then both divorced, David Hare and Jacqueline Lamba were married.10 From this point on, Hare’s entire artistic life would be played out as a “cross-breed.” 11 One side of him was experiencing modern European thought as imported by the Surrealists, and the other was still captivated by the symbolism of the Southwest Native American culture and its Kachina dolls. These were the guiding forces that would perpetually fuel him as an artist for the remainder of his life. Sensitive to Hare’s creative talents, Lamba encouraged him to make sculpture, which in his early attempts resulted in
celluloid figures that resembled Kachinas. By 1943 Hare was in personal contact with two influential sculptors living in New York: Alexander Calder, whose techniques with wire sculpture and movable parts Hare studied, and Isamu Noguchi, who shared with Hare his methods of cement casting, resulting in Hare’s early symbolist sculptures such as Man with Loop (seen in photo at right). Through the keen intellects of Hare’s close friends, the artists Arshile Gorky and Roberto Matta, he received firsthand an education in the issues that were then the most important emanating from Paris. And Hare, like his contemporary, the sculptor David Smith, looked also to the sculptural influences of the greatest masters of the early twentieth century, namely Julio González, Alberto Giacometti, and Pablo Picasso, with whom each had to contend. Hare’s earliest sculptures inclined towards Surrealist symbolism, “sculpted presences” as Jean-Paul Sartre referred to them (Red Knight, c.1943; The Magician’s Game, 1944; The Couple, 1945 (p. 20); Earth Wader, c. 1946 (p. 18); Thirsty Man, 1947), with what Howard Putzel, Peggy Guggenheim’s art advisor in the 1940s, described as “fragile, insect-like plaster and wire” imagery; other works depicted traps, spikes, and various implied viscera. It would be works such as these that Peggy Guggenheim, between the years 1944 and 1947, would exhibit in her Art of This Century Gallery in New York, and which would catapult the then relatively unknown David Hare into the city’s avant-garde arena. With the ending of World War II, most of the exiled Surrealists returned to Paris motivated by a desire to define the postwar directions of Surrealism in Europe, an ultimately Peggy Guggenheim in her apartment with Jackson Pollock, c. 1946. Pollock’s Mural is behind them. Hare’s Man with Loop is in the foreground.
unsuccessful attempt to revive their movement. Closing her gallery in 1947, Peggy Guggenheim left the United States permanently for Venice, Italy. Concerned for the artists she represented, she actively placed their work in prestigious American public collections. Guggenheim also sought to find other New York dealers to adopt her stable. Gallery owner Samuel Kootz would ably handle and promote the work of David Hare for the following decade. From the late 1940s, Hare abandoned New York to accompany Lamba to France, where she longed to return. While French artist Jean Dubuffet was collecting found objects along railroad tracks and incorporating them into his sculpture, Hare was searching in the fields. With the increased availability of metal after the war due to the lifted restrictions of their wartime use, many artists returned to working with a variety of metals. Steel and bronze became Hare’s preferred materials. While conjuring new forms, he would employ pieces of found metal—old shovels, sections of pipe, rusted tools, and the like—combining the discards of society into imaginative personalities. With steel rods he drew sunrises and sunsets in the air, capturing the endless cycle of the day, works that have become known as “skyscapes.”12 He also laid metal rods on the floor, which looked like drawings and were in fact the preliminary outlines for his sculptures, that he would then spot weld, in a kind of action drawing/welding. Together, these metal sculptures, in which one feels the locomotion of the materials, comprise one of his richest bodies of work—all having been made between the years 1950–55 (see Waterfall of 1954 at left). Quite possibly the Eiffel Tower, that Great Lady of Paris, with her Hare’s sculpture Waterfall at Weinstein Gallery
metal struts and open spaces unconsciously inspired his meandering creations. Eventually parting with Lamba due to constant separations, distance, and Hare’s infidelity, the couple were divorced in 1955. Hare now sought the artistic life of New York City again, with its constant backdrop of stimulation. New York was always on the edge of discovery; its metropolitan energy evident in its continual movement, marked by crudeness, rawness, noise, spaces both solid and transparent, its industry—qualities that were absorbed in their essence by the New York School artists, including Hare. Whereas Surrealism was some form of escape into dreams,13 New York was indeed the reality and the Abstract Expressionists and artists of the New York School didn’t believe in the dream. Instead as Harold Rosenberg stated in his groundbreaking book of 1959, The Tradition of the New, they were men and women of “action.” This view of the contemporary impetus in art was supported by Thomas B. Hess in the pages of Art News, who by then was its executive editor, and indeed by all the members of the New York School who were indispensable to one another. For them the mind was in the present tense; anything was valid in a work of art, all for the sake of art, a new communication, a new idea, a new truth. The artists were inspired by each other, but they wanted to find a way of seeing unique to each of them that had not been used before.14 This view was reinforced by their understanding of the work of Piet Mondrian which allowed for a plastic language of abstraction that could be used to express anything. In contrast to the espoused goals of both these groups, Hare sought to deliver the thing itself, not the dream, not the abstract symbol. He was, in his own words, “a neutral
observer” whose sculpture and drawings came from memory not observation, from past experiences recomposed from emotion and labor. Always present were lurking images of figures, hybrid animal forms, pierced matter, and the sinewy lines of nature that came forth unbidden from what he called “the spaces of my mind.” In the mid-1950s Hare met, and later married, Denise Browne, a photographer, and like Lamba, a strong, beautiful woman.15 They would divide their time between their Greenwich Village apartment in close proximity to many of his intimate friends (the critic Harold Rosenberg and his wife the writer May Natalie Tabak, the sculptor Ibram Lassaw and his wife Ernestine, the ceramicist Jeanne Reynal and her husband the painter Thomas Sills, and Teeny and Marcel Duchamp, among them) and the wilds of Wyoming. By the early 1960s Hare grew restless again, seeking yet another way to open new doors of adventure; he felt he was becoming repetitive and so again he sought a new direction. The mind is a storehouse of knowledge, experience, and memory; the unknown gives a sense of adventure. As David Hare was to state in 1965: “Freedom is what we want and what we are most afraid of.” In what became a period of self-review and which even seemed to be a retroactive move, Hare abandoned the direction that his sculpture and drawings had taken in the late 1950s and began casting small bronze fist-like figures. Hare found himself drawn to the work of Auguste Rodin, entranced by what he felt to be Rodin’s special gift: “the ability to synthesize a figure so convincingly that the entire body seemed a unique biographical statement.” 16 Hare began making representations of women with tightly locked forms, exhibiting the humanity of which he was all so
capable, intimate and isolated like Rodin’s (see, for example, Lovers of 1960, p. 27). He was intrigued by the ambiguity he found as he viewed the figures from different sides and angles. Yet it was not arrested-development, instead it was a return to original sources. The legacy of the great masters was one which he felt must be addressed. For Hare the crisis of contemporary sculpture now lay in its struggle with matter—the material was too labor intensive and the technical constraints of bronze casting were too time consuming. Hare wanted to have the freedom to produce “the rhythm of the mind at work,” to quote poet Allen Ginsberg, which the technical craft of sculpture that he was using did not permit, forcing him to hold the idea
too long, too often exhausting or losing the inspiration. To work in tandem with the “rhythm of the mind,” Hare turned initially to collage, a method used by Georges Braque and Picasso fifty years earlier. For Hare collage opened a door to endless possibilities in which he could include any material. Working in his studio, he would mount large canvases on the wall, paste and pin layers of his drawings and tissue paper on top of them, and then cut and rip away fragments and sections to expose and reveal new forms lying hidden underneath. To this he could add more and more startling materials: sand, tape, globs of paint, or different metals—anything that was a memory of the real world. Forms emerged and materials dissolved; Hare had found a new path to adventure, which he could apply not only to collage, but also to his painting, sculpture, and drawing. Working on hundreds of collages and drawings, Hare uncovered, in the process of working, images that conjured forth what he recognized as the Greek God Cronus, “part man, part earth, part time.” Cronus became a jumping off point for an exploration into parts unknown, with any material that was available in his studio. Tapping his unconscious via the automatism originally pursued by the Surrealists and which had been adopted by the Abstract Expressionists and indeed all New York School artists, Hare meandered upon another adventure, the kind to which he was always open. In 1977 Hare was given the opportunity to show this body of work at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The resulting solo exhibition, selected from a prodigious amount of works, was entitled The Cronus Series, and included 18 paintings, ten drawings, and five sculptures. These works David Hare’s Spring Street studio, New York, c. 1976
Brochure for the exhibition David Hare: The Cronus Series at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1977
were composed of both familiar materials—canvas, paint, paper, steel, bronze—and the unexpected—glass, plastic, and synthetic unknowns. Hare, when confronted by an interviewer as to his unconventional use and seemingly capricious combination of media, responded, “Art at its best is always oriented towards revolution,”17 a statement that had more far-reaching implication than the materials he employed. If one doesn’t break the rules, how does one create something new? As Franz Kline once said: “Well, look, if I paint what you know, then that will simply bore you, the
repetition from me to you. If I paint what I know, it will be boring to myself. Therefore I paint what I don’t know.” Throughout the 1980s until 1992, Hare easily combined his materials. Recurrent images, perhaps recurrent memories of experiences, flavor his creations. His images have come forth full grown, exhibiting qualities and touches that seem to have been in his creative vocabulary forever: risk, lyricism, gracefulness, fragility, wit, perforation, fear, nature, Kachina, hybrids, texture, color, humanism. Hare used his particular wit to arrive at aesthetic ends, as you can see in Binocular Self-Portrait (p. 65) and Lionscape (p. 67). Searching through his drawings and collage, he would unearth or discover images that came forth from ordinary experiences in his life but were enhanced by his personal inner vision, as seen in sculptures like Night Sky (p. 32), or paintings such as Shaman’s Fire (p. 73). In these later years it becomes even more clear that Hare was an experimenter, a searcher, a risk taker, gifted with his hands, and with an unmistakable intelligence that never ceased to surprise, ensnarl, and delight those around him. His friend, the painter Elise Asher described him as “mesmerizing like Adonis.”18 His marriage in dissolution, Hare found a partner in Therry Frey, a young Swiss journalist who came to interview him. Her strong and spirited character complemented his own, and Hare, captivated by Ms. Frey, would spend the rest of his life with her. Like Camille Corot, who raised the indignation of the French Salon with outcries of “this painter Corot wants to show with us?”; or Vincent van Gogh whose sole sale of
a painting was to his brother; or Paul Cézanne who was never invited to exhibit in his hometown museum in Aix; and other artists too numerous to mention, David Hare was not a self-promoter and remained philosophically outside the establishment. Because of this, perhaps, his work is less well known than many of his contemporaries. Despite his being deeply entrenched in the Surrealist world and circle, as well being a key player in the Abstract Expressionist scene, Hare would explain that he never felt he belonged to either. Instead he explained his artistic tendencies thus: “I never felt I belonged to the Surrealist group. I don’t like the idea of groups. So I mean that I never felt I was a Surrealist although my tendency certainly is more Surrealist than not. More Surrealist than abstract, let’s say. . . I was interested in it as form, and as ambiguity as form, and as a double meaning of form, a sort of subliminal effect of form.” 19
But Hare, nonetheless, epitomizes the art age in which he was an indispensable figure. More than anyone, Hare understood that the New York School, in which he stands as a full column of its temple, was not a school, but a lesson. It was to be an “open school of thought,” as it embodied more than one way of arriving at an artistic freedom.20 It is the history of individuals wherein, as Hare stated: “It is what the man does in spite of the formula. Only when the formula is broken in art is there progress.” Hare represents that generation of artists whose uniqueness attests to the powerful independence of expression, of passion, and of the liberating effects of throwing open the flood gates to see what comes through— another adventure, or perhaps even a new language. David Hare’s last years were spent in Idaho with his wife Therry Frey, in the solitude and sanctities of nature which he had sought in his youth. Hare had to be near his true feelings to be honest.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 VVV referred to the words Vow, Victory, View, and was published in three issues in New York from 1942–44. Hare was listed as the editor, with André Breton, Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst as editorial advisors. See also: André Breton, What is Surrealism? (New York: Pathfinder, 1978), p. 337. 10 Jacqueline and David Hare had one child, Merlin Hare. 11 American slang denoting a person having parents of different ethic types, and often used in reference to Native American Indians being “cross-bred,” as it were, with their white “American” conquerors. It further implies a hybrid, defined in the dictionary as something of mixed origin or composition, the offspring of genetically dissimilar antecedents. 12 This phrase was coined by art historian and curator Robert Goldwater in the early 1950s. 13 See André Breton, What is Surrealism?, op. cit. 14 New York School artists did not want to copy their artistic predecessors, but to explore and employ their understanding and to adopt whatever might speak to them. 15 Denise and David Hare had one child, Morgan Hare. 16 Albert E. Elsen, Rodin, (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1963), p. 81. 17 Niki Hale, “David Hare at The Guggenheim,” Art/World (September/October, 1977), p. 10. 18 Elise Asher, American painter and poet, married to American poet laureate Stanley Kunitz, in conversation with the author, March 1983. 19 Dorothy Seckler interview with David Hare, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., January 17, 1968. 20 There were groups formed within a larger category of thought, such as Action Painters around de Kooning, Kline, and Pollock, or those around Newman and Rothko, or those who came from the American Abstract Artists group of the 1930s and Mondrian, such as Lassaw and Cavallon.
Jean-Paul Sartre, “N-Dimensional Sculpture” (Paris: Galerie Maeght, Editions Pierre Feu, 1947). Philip Pavia (1911–2005), American sculptor. A self-proclaimed “trench fighter,” Pavia, who had studied abroad both in Italy and France, had felt the need to recreate in New York the Parisian café life that he had experienced and knew to be so important to modern artistic development, and which was, up to that point, missing in the new art world of New York. In 1948–49, spearheaded by Pavia, the Eighth Street Artists Club was born. A membership was formed and dues were agreed upons. A pantheon of poets, critics, and intellectuals were also brought in and a more united group was created. The crucial artistic issues of the day were discussed at its meetings and panels on a weekly basis, and would continue for more than a decade. David Hare Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1866/1877?–1949) Russian spiritualist; an influential teacher of the early to mid-20th century who taught that the vast majority of humanity lives their entire lives in a state of hypnotic “waking sleep,” but that it was possible to transcend to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential. Gurdjieff’s discipline worked to promote comprehensive and balanced inner development. See also David G. Lavender, They Wrote Their Own Histories: Fountain Valley School’s First 70 Years (Colorado Springs: Fountain Valley School, 2000). Following her natural philanthropic nature, Elizabeth Hare would also found the Indian Arts Fund in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1925 and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in 1930. The word Kachina refers to ceremonial dolls crafted by Pueblo Native peoples (including Hopi, Zuni, and other tribes) that represent ancestral, natural, and cosmic spirits, as well as referring to the spirits themselves. David Hare, in conversation with the author, June 1992. David Hare, in conversation with the author, 1991.
sculpture “ I fell in love with a woman and she said,‘You’re good with your hands.’ So I started making sculpture.”
Earth Wader c. 1946 Plaster and painted plaster 37 x 15 x 9 inches
Man with Hoops 1948 Gesso and plaster on steel base 67Â˝ x 31 x 32 inches
The Couple 1946 Bronze 64 x 16 x 15 inches
Rain, Cloud, Sun 1952 Bronze and steel on wood base 19¾ x 25¼ x 6¾ inches
Man Running 1954 Bronze and welded steel on wood base 22 x 31 x 11 inches
Waterfall 1954 Welded steel 72 x 21 x 19 inches
Leda and the Swan
c. 1950s Bronze weldment on stone base 12 x 3 x 1¾ inches
c. 1948–50 Ceramic on stone base 8½ x 4 x 3½ inches
1959 Bronze weldment on stone base 13 x 13 x 12 inches
Kneeling Woman 1959 Steel and bronze weldment on wood base 42 x 14 x 17 inches
Running Figure 1958 Bronze on wood base 20 x 34 x 19Â˝ inches
Rising Figure 1960 Bronze on wood base 20 x 32 x 18 inches
1960 Bronze 6 x 15 x 6Â˝ inches
1960 Bronze on wood base 14 x 8 x 7Âž inches
1960 Bronze on wood base 16 x 13 x 10 inches
Swanâ€™s Dream of Leda No. 2 1966 Steel, bronze, and stone on wood base 45 x 24 x 24 inches
Figure with Flowerpot
1960 Bronze on wood base 31 x 29 x 19 inches
1960 Steel and cowhide 27 x 42 x 33 inches
House of the Sun 1986 Wood and rope mounted on steel and wood base 34 x 12 x 10 inches
Untitled (Steps) 1986 Wood on steel and wood base 24 x 28 x 14 inches
Portrait of J.B.B. c.1985 Painted steel and steel on wood base 74Â˝ x 23 x 14 inches
Night Sky 1989 Painted steel, steel, and bronze 65 x 14Â˝ x 14Â˝ inches
Nigra Sum c. 1986â€“88 Steel and bronze on wood base 76 x 27 x 18 inches
Figure in the Window 1992 Painted steel, steel, and bronze 24 x 11 x 10 inches
The Travelers 1992 Bronze, steel, paint, wood, and vise 21 x 11 x 11Â˝ inches
Dog and Snake 1986 Nautical hook, steel, chain, bronze, and wood 24 x 40 x 10 inches
Tree and Rocks
c.1986 Painted plaster and sand 31 x 23 x 18 inches
1985 Painted plaster, epoxy, steel, and sand on steel base 24 x 28 x 19 inches
Elephant Hat 1986 Painted plaster and steel on stone base 43 x 15 x 24 inches
1985 Painted plaster on steel base 29 x 18 x 20 inches
1991 Painted plaster, steel, bronze, and ax head on wood and steel base 27 x 11 x 13 inches
Sun and Sea
House of the Moon
1992 Steel and bronze on steel base 26½ x 10½ x 11 inches
1992 Steel and bronze on stone base 30½ x 22½ x 13 inches
Juggler No. 2 1991 Steel on stone base 46 x 17 x 20 inches
Painting â€œA work of art, unlike a mathematical addition, is greater than the sum of its parts. This plus mark should be the spirit, sometimes it is intellectual, at worst it may be only esthetic; it should be all three.â€?
The Swanâ€™s Dream of Leda No. 2 1965 Acrylic and collage on linen 84 x 80 inches
Leda and the Swan, Night 1966 Acrylic and collage on linen 70 x 95 inches
Cronus Grown 1967 Acrylic and collage on linen 68 x 53 inches
Cronus Young 1968 Acrylic and collage on linen 68 x 53 inches
David Hare: The Cronus Series exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, 1977
Cronus Elephant 1975 Acrylic on canvas 82 x 60 inches
High Country Summer 1968 Acrylic and collage on linen 51 x 61 inches
Mother Goose 1965 Acrylic and collage on linen 84 x 84 inches
Erotic No. 1 1970 Acrylic and collage on linen 68 x 51 inches
Erotic No. 2â€“ The Swimmer 1970 Acrylic and collage on linen 65 x 48 inches
Clap, The Precarious Traveler 1970 Acrylic and collage on linen 56 x 52 inches
Water Map 1977 Acrylic on canvas 80 x 60 inches
India North 1977 Acrylic on masonite 48 x 62 inches
Machapuchhare Flutter 1977 Acrylic on canvas 62 x 48 inches
Mountain Sky 1969 Acrylic on canvas 56 x 69Â˝ inches
Mountain Sky 1977 Acrylic and collage on linen 63 x 43 inches
Earth and Water Moving No. 2 1978 Acrylic on canvas 60 x 82 inches
India Night 1977 Acrylic on canvas 65 x 48 inches
Earth and Water Moving 1977 Acrylic on canvas 55 x 90 inches (Pictured behind Hare in the photograph on page 41)
Rocks in the Ground 1978 Rubber, sand, lead, and acrylic on burlap on plywood 40 x 28 inches
1978 Acrylic, sand, paper, and lead on canvas on masonite 36 x 48 inches
Machapura Night 1977 Acrylic on canvas 65 x 48 inches
Flying Head Night 1979 Acrylic on canvas 66 x 90 inches
Binocular Self-Portrait 1982 Acrylic and lead on canvas wrapped on plywood 64 x 48 inches
The Lionâ€™s Dream 1984 Acrylic on canvas 60 x 44 inches
Lionscape 1984 Acrylic on canvas 42 x 60 inches
On the Beach No. 2 1987 Acrylic on canvas 72 x 52 inches
Playtime, Still Life with Pear 1989 Acrylic on canvas 38 x 42 inches
Mountain Spring 1989 Acrylic on canvas 64 x 45Â˝ inches
Ear Eye Nose 1989 Acrylic on canvas 64 x 46 inches
Shamanâ€™s Window 1989 Acrylic on canvas 72 x 52 inches
Shamanâ€™s Fire 1990 Acrylic on canvas 90 x 68 inches
Rhinoceros 1989 Acrylic on canvas 46 x 64 inches
Earth Shaman 1989 Acrylic on canvas 90 x 68 inches
Ledaâ€™s Dream of the Swan 1990 Acrylic on canvas 64 x 46 inches
Leda and the Swan
Ledaâ€™s Dream of the Swan
1990 Acrylic on canvas 52 x 38 inches
1990 Acrylic on canvas 52 x 38 inches
The Last Tree 1991 Acrylic on canvas 64 x 46 inches
works on paper â€œ Drawings show what one intended to do. Drawings are the most abstract of all art, they really only exist in your head.â€?
Portrait of Charles Duits
c.1945 Charcoal and white pastel on paper 18Âž x 15Â˝ inches
1946 Graphite and watercolor on paper 167/8 x 137/8 inches
Untitled (DHR0074) c. 1951â€“56 Charcoal on paper 237/8 x 175/8 inches
Untitled (374) 1948 Collage and gouache on paper 26 x 35 inches
Untitled (DHR0121) 1946 Mixed media on canvas paper 25 x 19他 inches
Untitled (DHR0110) 1958 Watercolor and ink on paper 21 x 14Â˝ inches
1960 Watercolor and pencil on paper 10 x 7Â˝ inches
1960 Watercolor and pencil on paper 10 x 7Â˝ inches
Untitled (DHR0115) 1971 Ink and acrylic on paper 25Âź x 33 inches
1966 Mixed media and collage on paper 36½ x 28½ inches
1999 Mixed media and collage on paper 39½ x 295/8 inches
Shaman No. 2 1988 Acrylic and ink on paper 47Â˝ x 33 inches
1990 Ink and acrylic on paper 34 x 25Âź inches
1979 Ink on paper 30 x 22Âź inches
Untitled (DHR0779) n.d. Mixed media on paper 18Âź x 24 inches
Two Dogs c. 1974 Acrylic and graphite on paper 223/8 x 32Âź inches
Tiger Tree 1992 Mixed media and collage on paper 29Â˝ x 22Âž inches
1946 Color ink and collage on paper 21Âź x 16 inches
1992 Acrylic and charcoal on paper 31Âž x 23 inches
David Meredith Hare is born in New York City on March 10th to Elizabeth Manning Sage Goodwin (1878–1948) and her second husband Meredith Hare (1870–1932). Hare’s father graduated from Yale University, class of 1894, where he studied law, and is a New York corporate attorney. His mother, an heiress and art patron, is active in New York’s avant-garde art circles and counts among her close friends many renowned intellectuals in America and Europe. Hare’s early years are spent in New York City and at the family’s Pidgeon Hill Estate in Huntington, Long Island.
Unsettled in New York, Hare decides to attend Bard College in upstate New York, where he studies chemistry and psychiatry. Develops an interest in photography as a hobby and he leaves college after six months.
1923–27 As a young child, Hare’s interests are absorbed by exploring nature, while he also receives great exposure to art through his mother.
1927–28 When Hare is ten years old, his father contracts tuberculosis. The family moves to the American West, seeking the dry, cool climate and high altitude beneficial to those seeking a health cure. They live in California and New Mexico before moving to Colorado. The family settles in Colorado Springs.
1930 Family spends time in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which like Taos, is an important modernist art colony that is drawn to the aesthetics and culture of local Native American communities. In New Mexico, Hare makes lasting friendships with the Pueblo Indians living on the nearby reservations.
1931 At age 14, Hare travels to Europe with his parents. They spend the summer in Rapallo, a popular seaside resort on the Italian Riviera and home to an international community of writers and artists. Here they join his cousin, the painter Kay Sage, and make the acquaintance of American poet Ezra Pound, a Rapallo resident since 1924.
1932 Hare’s ailing father dies in August; Elizabeth Hare decides to remain in Colorado until her son graduates from high school.
1933–35 Hare attends Fountain Valley School. His academic interests center on science and chemistry. Though highly articulate and a good writer, he has dyslexia and will never spell correctly.
1936 Hare graduates from Fountain Valley School, Class of 1936, when he is 19 years old. He and his mother return to New York City. However, the natural beauty particular to Western United States will have an effect upon him throughout his entire life. In December, Fantastic Art Dada Surrealism opens at the Museum of Modern Art, organized by its founding director, Alfred H. Barr, Jr. It is not confirmed if Hare attends the exhibition.
Returning to New York City, Hare takes his first job working as photographer in a commercial advertising firm in the Plaza Arts Building on 59th Street. Hare’s mother persuades her circle of art world and political friends to pose for portrait photographs. Hare soon opens his first photography studio and builds a darkroom.
Excerpted from an extensive chronology in progress by Ellen Russotto
Through introductions to his mother’s friends in the political society of Washington, D.C., Hare meets Susanna Perkins, daughter of Frances Perkins, the Secretary of Labor in the Franklin Roosevelt Administration and a major advocate of workers’ rights. In the course of time, Hare and Susanna, known as Suzy, develop a romantic relationship.
1938 March 12: David Hare and Susanna Perkins marry in New York City.
1939 At age 22, Hare has his first solo exhibition at Walker Galleries, 108 East 57th Street in New York, of 30 experimental color portrait photographs, one of which pictures President Franklin Roosevelt. The reviewer notes, “the process is more than usually successful in its color reproduction. . . [and] interesting for its experiments [when] in the hands of as tasteful and imaginative a photographer as Hare.” November: With the advance of World War II, his cousin Kay Sage, who has been living in Paris within the Surrealist artist community, arrives in New York with the Chilean painter Roberto Matta and French painter Yves Tanguy. Sage introduces Hare to Tanguy and Matta.
1940 Hare spends the winter in New York and continues experimenting with photographic processes. He also purchases a house in Roxbury, Connecticut, next door to Alexander Calder, who had moved there in 1933. Sage becomes involved with raising monies to help the Parisian Surrealist artists and intellectuals leave Europe. The combined efforts of the American Committe for the Safety of Intellectuals, Perkins, and Tanguy and Sage make it possible for many artists to obtain sponsors and visas to come to New York City. Gallery dealer Pierre Matisse signs the “affidavit of support” (financial guarantee) for Surrealist “Pope” André Breton, while David Hare signs the “affidavit of sponsorship” (moral guarantee). Suzy Hare sponsors the painter Jacqueline Lamba, Breton’s wife. Hare soon makes the acquaintance of many émigré Surrealists and other refugee artists as they gravitate to New York City. Impressed by his youthful intelligence and attraction to their ideas, he is one of the few Americans readily accepted into the Surrealist circle. That summer, Hare invites Matta and British Surrealist painter Gordon Onslow Ford
to visit Suzy’s family retreat in Maine. Suzy Hare develops a close friendship with Matta’s wife Anne; together, they set up a dress shop in New York shop selling Surrealist clothing. Growing dissatisfied with the commercial side of photography, Hare gladly accepts a commission from the American Museum of Natural History in New York to prepare a portfolio of color photographs of Pueblo Indians. Hare travels to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to photograph contemporary life on the nearby reservations. He will remain there for many months. December 10: Hare’s second exhibition of photographs is presented at the Julien Levy Gallery; Hare and Levy become good friends.
Hare, joined by Lamba, spends August in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, with the Mattas, Max Ernst, Peggy Guggenheim, and Robert Motherwell. Separating from Breton, in the fall Lamba moves in with Hare. October 14–November 7: Still experimenting with photography, one of Hare’s photographs is included in the First Papers of Surrealism exhibition held in the Whitelaw Reid Mansion in New York City and organized by Breton, Duchamp, and Sidney Janis.
January 22: Indian Art of the United States opens at the Museum of Modern Art.
October 20: Peggy Guggenheim opens her Art of This Century gallery.
March: Hare’s portfolio of color photographs, Pueblo Indians of New Mexico as They Are Today, is published; Dr. Clark Wissler, senior anthropologist at the American Museum of Natural History, writes the introduction: “Every student of Indians should be grateful to David Hare for his painstaking survey, the careful selection of types, and the technical work necessary to produce the photographs.” Weyhe Gallery in New York exhibits the photographs in December.
French artist Marcel Duchamp, living on and off in the United States since 1914, settles permanently in New York City. While Duchamp is thirty years his elder, he will become one of Hare’s closest lifelong friends.
His technical experimentation with photography has affinities with the works of artists Man Ray, Raoul Ubac, as well as the smoke drawings of Wolfgang Paalen. Hare experiments with “melted negatives,” a technique that he pursues for another five years. July 14: The American art collector and gallery dealer Peggy Guggenheim, who had been living in Paris, returns to the United States with the painter Max Ernst. November: Breton and painter André Masson arrive in the United States with their families. Charles-Henri Ford, editor of View magazine, includes a work by Hare in the October–November 1941 issue, Ford’s first “Surrealist” issue. The United States declares war on Japan, Germany, and Italy; Hare is evaluated as unfit for the draft.
1942 March 6–28: Pierre Matisse Gallery presents Artists in Exile: includes Breton, Ernst, Fernand Léger, Matta, Piet Mondrian, Tanguy, among others. Hare meets André Breton and his wife, Jacqueline Lamba, in New York City. The Bretons’ apartment becomes a gathering place for the Surrealist artists; under Breton’s leadership, the Surrealist community begins to regroup in New York. Breton decides to publish a magazine to propagandize Surrealism’s presence in America. As a foreign national in the United States during wartime, Breton cannot be editor; after considering other candidates, he selects Hare as editor. Titled VVV, its three issues are published in New York from June 1942–February 1944; Breton, Marcel Duchamp, and Max Ernst are editorial advisors. As Breton does not speak English and Hare does not speak French, Lamba translates her husband’s directives to Hare. Hare, by his own admission, admits to “falling immediately in love” with her; they begin a secret affair. At Lamba’s suggestion, Hare begins to make sculpture. Inspired by Alexander Calder, Hare’s first sculptures are made using wire
armatures that he covers with plaster; he also experiments with Sorel cement. Takes a studio at 79 East 10th Street in downtown New York vacated by experimental filmmaker/photographer Francis Lee, who has been drafted. Hare’s apartment is nearby at 42 Bleecker Street.
1943 Hare, Lamba, and her daughter with Breton, 7-year-old Aube, spend the summer in the Hamptons on Long Island; André Breton visits with Aube each weekend. April 16: Exhibition of Collage opens at Art of This Century gallery; it includes the work of European artists, such as Miró, Picasso, Braque, Juan Gris, Francis Picabia, Lawrence Vail, Max Ernst, along with lesser known younger American artists such as William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt, David Hare, Suzy Hare, Barbara Reis, and Jimmy Ernst. Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy buy a house in Woodbury, Connecticut.
1944 February: The last issue of VVV is published; a Surrealist inspired poem by Hare is included. November 14: With the encouragement of Howard Putzel, Guggenheim’s gallery advisor, David Hare Sculptures opens at Art of This Century.
1945 January–March: Jean-Paul Sartre, the father of French Existentialism, is among a group of French journalists invited by the United States State Department to visit America before the end of the war; the government’s intention is to develop Franco-American relations in the French press. Sartre visits with his friend Masson, now living in America; Masson takes Sartre to visit the studios of his artist friends: Calder, Tanguy, and Hare. Mosaicist Jeanne Reynal, one of the few artists wealthy enough to collect the art of her friends, moves from California to New York and lives at 240 West 11th Street; she is a close friend of Hare and Lamba, sharing their interest in the natural wonders of the American West and Native American artifacts. Hare and Susanna Perkins divorce; Breton and Lamba also divorce. In the summer months, Hare and Lamba live and work in Roxbury. In the fall, they move back to New York City.
1946 January 22–February 9: Sculpture by David Hare, his second solo exhibition at Art of This Century gallery, opens; it is well attended and many works are sold.
In February, Sartre, having returned to the U.S. in December of 1945, reconnects with Hare. Sartre invites Hare to write for Les Temps Modernes, the French literary review started by Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Hare and Lamba marry and move to Roxbury. In late spring they go to California for the opening of Paintings by Jacqueline Lamba; Sculpture by David Hare at the San Francisco Museum of Art. They travel throughout the West visiting Native American reservations and national parks, returning to Roxbury in September. September 10–December 8: Hare is included by curator Dorothy Miller in Fourteen Americans at the Museum of Modern Art along with Arshile Gorky, Robert Motherwell, Isamu Noguchi, Mark Tobey, Irene Rice Pereira, and others. With illustrations by Gorky and a cover by Duchamp, Breton publishes a book of his poetry titled Young Cherry Trees Secured Against Hares, an oblique reference to Hare’s relationship with Jacqueline Lamba, now Breton’s ex-wife.
Sartre’s catalogue essay is entitled “Sculptures à n dimensions.”
1948 Hare divides his time between New York and France for the next six years. Hare’s son with Jacqueline Lamba, Merlin Meredith Hare, is born in New York City, June 19. Hare and his family are in Roxbury during the summer when his close friend, Gorky arrives in the nearby town of Sherman. Concerned about Gorky’s mood, Hare invites him to lunch; two days later, on July 21, Gorky commits suicide. Hare is deeply saddened by his death. August: Death of his mother, Elizabeth Hare. October: Hare, Baziotes, Motherwell, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko found The Subjects of the Artist School, an informal art school with discussion groups and Friday evening lectures; it opens at 35 East 8th Street.
Takes a house at 34 Leroy Street in New York’s Greenwich Village at this time. Frequent visitors include Steffie and Frederick Kiesler, Jeanne Reynal and her husband, Thomas Sills, Ethel and William Baziotes, Nicolas Calas, Sage and Tanguy.
Hare makes many small sculptures in terracotta that are shown in his solo exhibition at Kootz Gallery, along with un-cast works in wax. The catalogue quotes Sartre’s appraisal of Hare’s sculpture, which appear to combine Native American motifs with animal forms and human body parts.
February 12: Joan Miró arrives on his first trip to New York; Miró accompanies his friend Stanley William Hayter on social visits to Hare’s home and studio.
March 25–April 19: Hare’s final one-man exhibition at Art of This Century, David Hare Sculpture, presents 15 sculptures. Nicolas Calas organizes Bloodflames at the Hugo Gallery in New York, owned by Alexander Iolas; Kiesler designs the exhibition space and writes the catalogue; the artists included all owe a debt to Surrealism: Gorky, Hare, Gerome Kamrowski, Roberto Matta, Isamu Noguchi, Helen Phillips, Reynal, among others. Hare exhibits Lady of Waiting, a 1946 plaster sculpture. April 22–May 31: Peggy Guggenheim closes her Art of This Century gallery. Before leaving New York to reside permanently in Venice, Guggenheim purchases works from her gallery artists, donating them to museums across America to encourage an interest in contemporary art: Hare’s Red Knight, c.1943–44, is given to Yale University Art Gallery; Fat Young Girl, c.1944, to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. That summer Julien Levy visits Hare and Lamba in the Hamptons; Levy offers Hare an exhibition for the following year. July 7–October 5: Galerie Maeght in Paris at 13, rue de Téhéran, André Breton and Marcel Duchamp open Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme: Le surréalisme en 1947, with the intention to establish the postwar directions of Surrealism. Hare and Lamba, both included in the exhibition, attend the opening. Hare’s plaster and wire sculpture Anguish Man, resembling an emaciated figure, hangs from the ceiling in the Hall of Superstitions, designed by Kiesler. Hare and Lamba, who is now pregnant with their child, spend the winter of 1947–48 in Paris, before returning to New York in late spring. In Paris, Hare keeps in contact with Sartre, whom he now regards as a close friend; Sartre sends him proofs of an essay he is writing for Hare’s forthcoming exhibition at Galerie Maeght in December. December 1947–January 1948: David Hare opens at Galerie Maeght in Paris.
In his diary, Hare records driving to Rome in January and walking the streets all night, noting that Rome, an “empty, huge, heroic” city “is most beautiful at night.” He visits with Matta and the Italian-American painter Corrado Marca-Relli, who are then both living in Rome. April: The Subjects of the Artist School closes. March 15–April 12: At Julien Levy Gallery, Hare exhibits bronze and plaster sculptures on the theme of elephant; the sculptures are both whimsical and plant-like. Sculptor Isamu Noguchi includes Hare’s work in “Meanings of Modern Sculpture,” an article he writes for the December issue of Art News.
1950 At this time the neighborhood around Hare’s studio on East 10th Street is developing into a popular community of artist tenants. Critic Harold Rosenberg lives at 117 East 10th Street and is a frequent visitor to their studios. Hare finds himself part of that community of artists who will soon become internationally recognized as the New York School. During the summer months, Hare and Lamba travel in the American West. Hare is one of ten sculptors who support the group of painters dubbed the “Irascible 18”; in an open letter to The New York Times they decry the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s conservative policy for a juried open competition entitled American Painting Today. Thomas B. Hess reviews The Muralist and the Modern Architect at the Kootz Gallery, citing that the Hare-Kiesler collaboration “more than justifies this show.” Hare becomes a member of the Eighth Street Artists Club, often referred to simply as The Club; it is located at 39 East 8th Street. Spearheaded by the sculptor Philip Pavia, it is organized as a forum for “the exchange of opinions, views, discoveries, agreements and disagreements” among artists, critics, and
distinguished guests. Its evening discussions and weekly panels are of primary importance in the formation of the New York School. December 1: Hare delivers a lecture at The Club, entitled “Art and Honesty.” Accepts an invitation from Sartre to oversee an issue of Les Temps Moderne dedicated to American writers.
1951 Lamba returns to France; she will live there permanently.
Modern Art in the United States, organized by the Museum of Modern Art, includes Gorky, de Kooning, Pollock, Tobey, Hare, Seymour Lipton, among others.
With different metals more readily available after the war, Hare begins to work in bronze, copper, lead, iron, and steel.
Included in The New Decade: 35 American Painters and Sculptors that opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Hare remains in New York to prepare for his exhibitions. Robert Goodnough, reviews Hare’s solo exhibition at Kootz Gallery for the April issue of Art News: “Strength and dignity are given to the work through the determined attitude of this very personal artist”; Robert Coates, reviewing in The New Yorker: Hare “is one of the moderns who refuse to accept the traditional limits of sculpture.”
Hare’s work is featured in Art in the 20th Century at the San Francisco Museum of Art, an exhibition commemorating the 10th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter.
May 21–June 10: 9th Street, an exhibition organized by artists in an empty storefront at 60 East 9th Street, is the now historic first group exhibition of artists who will become known as the New York School. Of the 58 American artists selected for the First São Paulo Bienal in Brazil, Hare, along with Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and David Smith, is grouped with the Abstract Expressionist artists. Later in the year, Hare joins Lamba in France.
1952 “Life in France seems to agree with this artist,” observes The Art Digest in its review of Hare’s austere sculpture that he makes using “scrap found in the fields”; in his one-man exhibition in March at Kootz Gallery, Hares sculptures reflect his relationships with Giacometti and Picasso, and the influence of his visits to the prehistoric caves of Lascaux in southern France.
1953 Hare joins Lamba who has rented a house in Cannes on the Boulevard Eugène Gazagnaire which runs along the Mediterranean coast. Hare meets Picasso, who lives nearby in Golfe Juan; they exchange studio visits. Their friendship is limited, as they do not share a common language.
1954 With close friends sculptor Ibram Lassaw and his wife Ernestine Lassaw, Hare, Jacqueline, and Merlin travel from Provincetown to the American Southwest in a car Lassaw had bought from Max Ernst. They spend the summer near Taos, New Mexico. In the fall, Hare and his family return to France, where he works on models for a very large sculpture-mural commission.
1955 Woodbury, January 15: Death of his friend Yves Tanguy. Hare returns to New York alone from France to work in his studio at 34 Leroy Street in Greenwich Village, preparing for his exhibition at Kootz Gallery in March. Lamba takes an apartment in Paris’s Latin Quarter, where Hare rejoins her. Soon afterward they divorce.
Reviews of his exhibition at Kootz Gallery are positive. Arts Digest comments that Hare is “one of America’s most witty sculptors. . . his is something of the primitive’s plunge into creativity. . . a manipulative rapport with the animate spirit of his materials. . . ”; Frank O’Hara notes a “sensitivity and nervous originality”; Robert Coates calls Hare “one of the most thoughtful and most technically accomplished and inventive artists in his field.”
1956 Hare, Giorgio Cavallon, Sidney Geist, and Motherwell are on the Selection and Hanging Committees for the Fifth Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture at the Stable Gallery, now revered as the much-awaited annual salon of the New York School. That summer Hare rents Mrs. Rose’s Cottage in East Hampton, famous for its many artist tenants. He meets Denise Browne, a photographer and filmmaker who lives in East Hampton; she is also a guest curator at the local Guild Hall Museum. A romantic relationship soon develops between Browne and Hare. Friday, August 11: his friend Jackson Pollock is killed in an automobile crash in the nearby community of The Springs. Hare attends the funeral. “An Evening for Jackson Pollock” is held in November at The Club in New York City.
1957 Along with 114 other artists, Hare exhibits again in the Stable Exhibition, which critic Thomas B. Hess calls “the most interesting group show in New York.” Now living together, Hare and Denise travel in the summer to the wilderness of Wyoming, where they purchase a ranch. Hare and his family will spend many summers in Wyoming for the next 20 years; they also stay in the Hamptons on Long Island where a large community of artist friends from New York also summer.
1958 Working on models for several years, Hare completes a large bronze wall sculpture. Commissioned for the lobby of The Uris Building at 750 Third Avenue in New York City; its theme is inspired by Native American motifs. Philip Pavia publishes the first issue of It Is, the now historic magazine focusing on the topics discussed at The Club in its early years; Hare’s Waterfall is reproduced.
1959 Hare’s longtime friend Marcel Duchamp and his wife, Teeny, move to 28 West 10th Street, near to Leroy Street. Routinely, they spend Sundays at Hare’s house, as do close friends Harold and May Rosenberg, the artists Saul Steinberg and wife Hedda Sterne, poet Stanley Kunitz and his wife, painter Elise Asher. December 1: Kiesler, Noguchi, Enrico Donati, Cavallon, Lassaw, Steinberg and critics Rosenberg and Hess attend the opening of Hare’s final exhibition at Kootz Gallery. The installation features works ranging in size from 13 inches to well over seven feet.
1960 Feeling slowed down by the time-consuming aspects of welding and casting his sculpture, Hare starts painting, with the hopes of finding a medium that will keep pace with the flow of his ideas. He also makes many drawings and collages. Hare’s dealer Samuel Kootz refuses to exhibit his paintings, stating that since Hare was known as a sculptor, “it would confuse customers and make trouble.” Hare joins Saidenberg Gallery; he will exhibit there until 1963.
1961 His son with Denise, Morgan Hare, is born April 22.
Sculpture-Painting-Drawing—ten sculptures, eight paintings, eight drawings and watercolors, all on the theme of Leda and the Swan, dating from 1961 to 1965. It is the first time Hare exhibits his paintings in a museum. Blind Head, Hare’s 7'6'' steel, bronze, and cement sculpture is included in the Annual Exhibition of Sculpture and Prints at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
1967 In the fall, Hare accepts a teaching position at the Rinehart School of Sculpture, Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, where he remains for two years.
Now focused on painting, and making collages and drawings as well, Hare begins transposing characteristics of one medium upon another. His images include hybrid animals, landscapes that recall the mountains of Wyoming, and nudes. Hare continues to make sculptures from found metals and objects; they are exhibited at Saidenberg in January: David Hare: 25 Sculptures 1959–1960.
May 22: Hare becomes a member of the faculty of the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. He teaches at the school until 1975.
January: Dorothy Seckler interviews Hare for the Archives of American Art in Washington, D.C.
Hare lectures at Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore, on Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. He is invited to exhibit in the Seattle World’s Fair; the painter Balcomb Green and Hare have a two-person exhibition at Saidenberg Gallery in March. Hare and Denise Browne marry in New York; Marcel Duchamp is the witness at their wedding. Their Greenwich Village house is a favorite art world destination: painters Dorothea Tanning, Barnett Newman, critics Robert Goldwater, Katherine Kuh, and the composer John Cage, are now regular visitors. Hare’s son Merlin comes from France to spend the summer with him in New York.
1963 January 8: His cousin, Kay Sage, despondent for several years after the death of Tanguy, commits suicide. June 6: Death of his longtime friend William Baziotes in New York. Variations on the theme of Leda and the Swan appear more and more in Hare’s sculptures and drawings; this theme continues in his work for the remainder of his life.
Contributes a statement for an article entitled “Sensibilities of the Sixties,” published in the January–February issue of Art in America.
1968 In Art News, Hare writes an article entitled “History, History On The Wall Did I Did I Do It All?,” an attack against Robert Motherwell’s role, character, and credibility in the New York art world. March 27–June 9: Hare’s sculpture, The Magician’s Game, 1944, is included in Dada, Surrealism and Their Heritage, at the Museum of Modern Art. Fascinated with the way “trees grow out of rocks” in the Wyoming landscape, Hare commences a series of landscape paintings and drawings when he returns to New York. October 2: Death of his longtime friend Marcel Duchamp in France.
1969 Hare is awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, where he delivers the commencement address. Hare is included in The New American Painting and Sculpture: The First Generation at the Museum of Modern Art. His sculptures The Magician’s Game, 1944, Figure Waiting in Cold, 1950-1951, and Sunset II, 1953, all included in the exhibition, are donated to the Museum of Modern Art. Hare gives a talk at the Museum on Dada and Surrealism.
Hare is awarded a Ford Foundation Grant to be an artist-in-residence at the Delgado Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana. He also accepts a position as visiting artist at the Philadelphia College of Art in Pennsylvania, in the fall.
In October, Hare has a solo exhibition of paintings at Staempfli Gallery, New York.
Hare takes a studio at 151 Spring Street in lower Manhattan in Soho during the 1970s. He is surrounded by artists and galleries, but prefers the privacy of his studio or the wilds of Wyoming.
February 27–March 27: The Philadelphia College of Art organizes Hare’s first retrospective: Sculpture and Drawings by David Hare, 1948–1964. Hare is 48 years old. Hare remains at the school as visiting artist until the summer. He also lectures at the Baltimore Museum of Art. His essay, “The Myth of Originality in Contemporary Art” is published in the Art Journal.
1966 March 13–April 10: The Isaac Delgado Museum of Art presents David Hare
Looking through his many sketchbooks of drawings from the past, Hare is drawn to certain images in his work again and again. Studying them, he finds those which he feels have a specific meaning for him. Writing in his exhibition catalogues, Hare explains that he came to realize that Cronus was the image that was coming into his work unbidden. The story of Cronus, the Titan who overthrew his father, Uranus, only to be overthrown by his own son, Zeus, is repeatedly seen in Hare’s drawings, paintings, and sculpture for the rest of his life. It emerges in
landscapes, figures, and hybrid animals.
Indian-influenced imagery appears in his paintings and drawings.
Hare’s work is exhibited at the Maeght Foundation, in Vence, France.
Harold Rosenberg, assessing the state of the arts in the New Yorker Magazine, writes: “The most distinguished American work exhibited in 1977 was by oldtimers—de Kooning, Lester Johnson, David Hare, Philip Guston, Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner—and in modes not long ago considered obsolete.”
Alain Jouffroy publishes “L’Exceptionnel David Hare,” in the December issue of Opus International.
1972 Hare works at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he produces a series of lithographs on the theme of Cronus. Visits with Ibram Lassaw in The Springs, East Hampton; summers in Wyoming.
1973 March 25: Death of his longtime friend Robert Goldwater; Hare speaks at the funeral service. His essay, “On Robert Goldwater,” is published in the Art Journal.
1974 En route to his solo exhibition in Houston, Texas, Hare visits his Pueblo friends in Santa Fe, with whom he formed friendships dating back to the 1940s. David Hare at Tibor de Nagy Gallery in Houston, Texas, presents large paintings of mountains, and dogs. Hare writes a statement for the catalogue; the exhibition is reviewed in Art in America. After the opening, Hare and his family travel to Wyoming, where they spend the summer. Purchases a house in Victor, Idaho. In his studio on Spring Street in New York, Hare works simultaneous on largescale paintings, sculpture, and collages.
1975 Hare returns to work again at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop. October: His one-man exhibition at Alesandra Gallery presents large scale paintings of landscapes, Cronus, and Cronus hybrids.
Throughout the seventies, David Hare and his wife have marital problems, interspersed with periods of separation. Hare spends more and more time living alone in his studio.
1979 Hare, now 62 years old, is a respected artist in both the United States and Europe, where his reputation was supported by articles in the French press. Therry Frey, a Swiss journalist who writes for Du magazine, is introduced to Hare when she arrives in New York. Interviewing Hare for an article, they see each other often. In the course of time, they become romantically involved; eventually Therry Frey moves into Hare’s Spring Street studio.
1980 David Hare New Work at Hamilton Gallery, presents a series of paintings of “elephants” and “flying heads.” The large elephant images appear as recombined body parts, creating “totally new creatures” that are “childlike primitive,” with titles such as Dog Elephant and Cronus Elephant. During the years 1980–89, Hare’s repertory of creatures enlarges to include works such as Lionscape, Lion Monument, Elephant Puzzle, Rhinoceros, Flying Head, and Bull. April 15: His longtime friend Jean-Paul Sartre dies in Paris.
The cover of Arts Magazine features the installation of his exhibition at Alesandra Gallery. The polished steel, lead, and Plexiglas sculptures and large-scale paintings of landscapes and dogs continue his exploration of the theme of Cronus. Hare claims that he uses myth as “a jumping off place. . . as a symbol of growth through time.”
June 15–August 13: Two Installations: Frederick Kiesler and David Hare at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery presents nine sculptures by Hare, dating from 1946 through 1962, alongside Kiesler’s Galaxy, a structure that evolved from a stage set to independent sculpture. The Arts reviewer states that both artists “challenge the traditional limits of sculpture.”
The Whitney Museum of American Art presents 200 Years of American Sculpture, a major survey exhibition that spans from Native American Art through Earth Art. Hare is represented by The Magician’s Game, 1944.
September 30–October 30: Hare’s one-man exhibition David Hare: The Cronus Series at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, shows 18 paintings, ten drawings, and five sculptures. Writing in the New Yorker magazine, Harold Rosenberg concludes: “The ‘Cronus’ creations have a psychological authenticity that leads one to assume that Hare has survived visits to troubled areas of the imagination. . . . The ‘Cronus’ show at the Guggenheim is a rich sampling of an undertaking that is extraordinary yet central to the art of our time.” Katherine Kuh, writing in the Saturday Review, notes Hare’s vocabulary of “multicolored sculptures from familiar materials in combination with synthetic ones,” “collage and montage,” describing them as a type of “anti-sculpture.” Summers in Victor, Idaho. Also travels to India with his half-brother, John Goodwin;
Hare travels to Chicago for the opening of his exhibition David Hare Major Works at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery. Hare is quoted: “All art is really self-portraiture.”
David Hare: Cronus, Elephants, Flying Heads opens at The State University of New York at Binghamton. January 6: Death of his longtime friend, Jimmy Ernst, whose autobiography, A Not-So-Still Life, has just been published. December 5, 1984–March 3, 1985: Hare is included in The Third Dimension Sculpture of the New York School, at The Whitney Museum of American Art. Stating that the “achievements of the American sculptors of the 1940s and 1950s have generally been overshadowed by those of the Abstract Expressionist painters,” the exhibition focuses on the range of expression to be found in sculpture.
1985 David Hare New Paintings at Gruenebaum Gallery.
1986 Hare and Denise Browne Hare divorce. Hare decides to leave New York and move permanently to Idaho with Therry Frey. Now living and working in the remote West, he enjoys wandering through the landscape, especially through the mountains. Travels to Mexico with Therry.
1987 Returns to New York in January for his exhibition at Gruenebaum Gallery in New York; he exhibits 21 recent sculptures, most of them made in 1986. August 4–October 4: Hare attends the opening of his exhibition David Hare at the Greenville County Museum of Art, in Greenville, South Carolina; lectures at the Museum during his exhibition.
1988 Hare is present at his last exhibition at Gruenebaum Gallery, which presents a select survey of works from the 1940s to the present.
1989 Deaths of two friends: Nicolas Calas and Isamu Noguchi.
1990 June 30: Hare is included in Scultura in America II Biennale Internazionale di Scultura Contemporanea in Matera, Italy. After traveling in Europe, Hare and Therry return to Idaho, where they marry.
1991 Despite developing emphysema, Hare never drifts from his daily routine of working all day in his studio. His drawings reflect the changing times of the day; they also echo the starkness of the landscape of Idaho. His work is included in many exhibitions which have an historical focus: Art of the 40’s, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Continuité Surréaliste, FIAC 91, Grand Palais, Paris, France; Ten Sculptures of the New York School, Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles; The Figure In It: The Human Figure in American Art Since 194 5, University Art Museum, University of New Mexico at Albuquerque.
1992 Continuing to work in his studio, Hare produces 30 sculptures and numerous paintnigs and works on paper in the last year of his life. He dies December 21, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, three months short of his 76th birthday. David Hare Catalogue Raisonné is begun by Ellen Russotto.
1994 A memorial exhibition, A Tribute to David Hare, 1917–1992, is held at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. It is reviewed in The New York Times, which discusses the works in the exhibition both in terms of Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.
Public Collections Accademia d’Arte Moderna Dino Scalabrino, Montecatini Terme, Italy Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio Baltimore Museum of Art The Brooklyn Museum Chase Manhattan Bank of North America, New York Delgado Museum of Art, New Orleans First National Bank, Chicago Flint Institute of Art, Flint, Michigan Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge Galerie Maeght, Paris Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, Connecticut Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Museum of Modern Art, New York MUSMA-Museo Internazionale della Scultura Contemporanea, Matera, Italy New Orleans Museum of Art New York Public Library New York University Art Collection Novartis Corporation, East Hanover, New Jersey Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice Philadelphia Museum of Art Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Reynolds Metal Company, Richmond, Virginia San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Lincoln, Nebraska Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York State University of New York at Purchase University of Nebraska University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond Washington University Gallery of Art, St. Louis Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina at Greensboro The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven
Exhibition catalogue for David Hare at Weinstein Gallery, September 2012