Watercolor 30" x 40"
The work of Gene Hutner typifies post-WW II American optimism and exuberance, particularly among Abstract Expressionists. After taking his BA at The City College of New York, he earned his MFA at Columbia University. Hutner also studied extensively with Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s, both in New York and Provincetown, along with Red Grooms, Robert De Niro Sr., and Frank Stella.
In addition to his studio practice, Hutner, like many of his contemporaries, pursued a career as an art instructor in the New York Public schools, and was also acting Chairman of the art programs at Bryant High School. After his retirement from the New York school system, Hutner was an Artist-in-Residence at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, as well as Artist-in-Residence at the Montalvo Center for the Arts at Saratoga, California. He received a grant at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts at Sweet Briar, Virginia.
Hutner was excited by the ever-changing artistic surroundings and milieus in New York. After his early forays into realistic painting, he became intimately involved in the post-war American Abstract Ex-pressionist movement. He often spoke of his interest to “paint the spaces between forms”, “the differ-ence a millimeter makes”, to use white as a color, and to make use of the “push-pull” of relationships on the canvas.
Hutner’s work, however, was quite different from Hofmann’s as he pursued his own style and direc-tion. He shifted from dry to wet paper, used several brushes and different strokes in each painting to enhance the interest and interactive dynamics. He felt that by “letting go” of more concrete shapes and forms he became freer to deal with surface and spatial relationships and the release of energy on the surface. He experimented in various styles and media, but his major life’s work was as a watercolorist.
Hutner was a founder and lifelong member of two vital artist cooperatives: Gallery 84 and Abingdon Square Painters in New York, which operates from Long Island City today. His work is in numerous private and museum collections in North America.
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