Estate of Clinton Hill
An under-recognized painter of The New York School, Clinton Hill was born in 1922 in Payette, Idaho and passed away in 2003 in New York, New York. During World War II, he volunteered and served in the U.S. Navy, where he met his life partner Allen Tran. They would move together to New York after the War’s end. Hill graduated from the University of Oregon in 1947 and attended the Brooklyn Museum Art School from 1949 to 1951. There, he studied with artists Max Beckmann, John Ferren, Vincent Longo, and Reuben Tam. He also spent two years traveling with Tran and studying in Europe at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris and the Istituto Statale d’Arte in Florence.
After returning to New York, Hill had his very first solo exhibition at Korman Gallery in 1954. As a Fulbright Fellowship recipient in 1956, he went to India where metaphysical thinking deeply influenced his art, as did his occasional working as an assistant to Mark Rothko. By 1959, Hill gained critical attention as the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired his work and included it in an exhibition of recent acquisitions organized by curator William S. Lieberman. While a few canvases from the 1960s were exhibited throughout his career, this particular body of work was primarily completed and stored away for close to 50 years. These paintings harken to the development of color-field painting by the artist’s contemporaries including Morris Louis’ vibrant and vertical compositions, Kenneth Noland’s exploration of color and geometry, and Helen Frankenthaler’s beautiful introduction of soak-stain painting onto raw canvas. The undiscovered bridge between the artist’s darker, expressionist paintings and chaotic collages of the 1950s to his more well-known, minimalist works on paper of the 1970s, Hill’s works of the 1960s embody an invested and controlled precursor to invigorating colors and compositions that would explode again later in his life.
Art historian Leo Steinberg had described Hill’s paintings in which “each patch of tone vibrates with its neighbor; the open spaces work with energy.” Hill looks at the close relationship between the problems of balance and movement prompting art historian Susan C. Larsen to describe his “strong sense of spatial movement, taking his work beyond the closed realm of composition in painting. His work engages with the dynamic physicality of the world and establishes psycho-motor interplay with the human eye and mind,” she wrote “Their evocative forms and rich color look ahead to the abstract yet imagistic art of the 1980s.”
Born: Payette, Idaho, 1922
Died: New York, New York, 2003
Education: Istituto Statale d’Arte, Florence, Italy, 1951-1952
Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris, France, 1951
Brooklyn, Museum Art School, Brooklyn, NY. 1949-1951
B.S. University of Oregon 1947
2018 Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA.
2011 Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, NY.
2011 Meredith Ward Fine Art, New York, NY.
2009 Melissa Morgan Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA.
2009 Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, OR.
2003 Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College, NY.
2001-1993 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York City, NY.
1996 Vesti Dane, Scottsdale, AZ.
1993 University of Oregon, Museum of Art. Eugene, OR.
1992 Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA.
1992-1979 Marilyn Pearl Gallery, New York City, NY. 1987 Villa Borzino, Busalla, Italy
1985 William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
1984 Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.
1984 Galeria Blu, Milan, Italy
1982 Sergio Tosi Stampatore, New York, NY.
1981 Montclair Museum of Art, Montclair, NJ.
1980-1977 Zolla/Leiberman Gallery, Chicago, IL.
1979 Zoller Gallery, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.
1978 Columbia Gallery, Columbia College, Chicago, IL.
1978 Landmark Gallery, New York, NY.
1978 University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL.
1977 Jorgensen Gallery, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.
1976 Galerie Darthea Speyer, Paris, France
1976 Foster Gallery, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, WI.
1975-1955 Zabriskie Gallery, New York, NY 1974 Bennington College, Bennington, VT.
1973 Queens College, Flushing, NY.
1957 Phoenix Arizona Museum of Art, Phoenix, AZ.
1954 Korman Gallery, New York, NY.
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Papyraceous Recent Acquisitions, Contemporary Works on Paper, Newark Museum, NJ.
Annual Exhibition National Academy of Design, New York, NY. (2001, 2000, 1997)
Toward the New: American Abstract Artists, Hillwood Art Museum, C.W. Post Campus, Long Island University
THE PAPER TRAIL: Douglas Howell and Four Pioneers In American Handmade Paper, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli
Museum, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 175th Annual National Academy of Design, New York, NY (Emil and Dines Carlsen Award)
Fete ses Anes, 1968-1998, Galerie Darthea Speyer, Paris (catalogue illustration)
American Modernist Works on Paper 1924-1956
Susan Teller Gallery, New York, NY. Abstraction
INDEX (Vincent Longo, Curator), Condeso/Lawler Gallery, NY
Pioneers of Abstract Art, American Abstract Artists, 1936-96, Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, City University of New York 49th Annual Purchase Exhibition, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY.
Contemporary American Works on Paper, University of Michigan, Dearborn American Woodcuts of the 1950 Susan Teller Gallery, New York, NY.
2nd Annual Drawing Exhibition, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.
“The Persistence of Abstraction” American Abstract Artists, 56th Annual Exhibition, Edwin A Ulrich Museum, Wichita, KA
Basel Art Fair, Switzerland
“Spectrum of Innovation of Color in American Printmaking, (Traveling Exhibition Curated by David Acton)
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA.
Post-War Geometric Concepts, Marilyn Pearl Gallery, NYC
Galerie Lopes, Zurich, Switzerland
SOHO in Oswego: New York Art Gallery, State University of New York at Oswego, NY Basel Art Fair, Switzerland
Basel Art Fair, Switzerland
International Paper Biennale, Leopold-Hoesch Museum, Duren, Germany.
American Art of the Heart, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
New Work, Alice Simsar Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI
Humanism in American Painting, The Severe and the Romantic: Geometric
Marilyn Pearl Gallery, NYC
Plastics!?, Marilyn Pearl Gallery, NYC
American Art of the Heart, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Artists toys, Vanderwoude-Tananbaum Gallery, NYC
Prints From Blocks: Gauguin Now, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. Paper as Image, Arts Council of Great Britain (traveling exhibition)
Inaugural Exhibition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra the Handmade Paper Book, American Craft Museum, New York, NY. 1981
Paper: Surface and Image, Print Council of New Jersey, Somerville; Philadelphia Art Alliance; Pittsburg Center for the Arts
With Paper, About Paper, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.
Pages: Artists Books, New England Foundation for the Arts, Boston (traveling exhibition)
Paper as a Medium, Smithsonian Institute Washington. DC (traveling exhibition)
Handmade Paper Object, Williams College Museum of art, Williams, MA.
New Ways with Paper National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington, DC
Painting and sculpture Today, Indianapolis Museum of Art
Paper, Dayton Art Institute, Ohio
Three Abstract Painters, Galerie Darthea Speyer, Paris
Two Decades of American Printmaking, Worcester Art Museum
Drawing and Collage, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York, NY.
Paper Art, Long Art Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, CA.
The Material Dominant, Zoller Gallery, Pennsylvania State University, Park, PA.
Aspects of Collage, Bard College, NY.
Handmade Paper Object, Santa Barbara Museum, CA; Jacksonville Museum of Art, FL. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; National Print Exhibition, Brooklyn Museum of Art (1975) Work on Handmade Paper, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.
Printmaking, New Forms, Whitney Museum Downtown, New York, NY.
Art of Paper, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro (1973,1969)
Society for Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago
Recent Acquisitions, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Collage in America, American Federation of the Arts, NY (traveling exhibition)
Curators Choice, Baltimore Museum of Art
Zabriskie Gallery, New York, NY.
International Watercolor Biennial, Brooklyn Museum of Art
SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.
American Abstract Artists Portfolio (British Museum; Fogg Museum; Guggenheim Museum; Princeton University Library; Sheldon Swope Art Museum; Whitney Museum of American Art; Wichita Museum of Art).
Arizona State Museum, Tempe.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
Baltimore Museum of Art, MD.
Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
The Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Queens College, CUNY.
Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY.
Hood Museum, Dartmouth College, Hanover NH.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Montclair Art Museum, NJ.
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.
National Academy of Design, New York, NY.
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton.
New York Public Library, Miriam And Ira D. Wallach Print Collection.
University of Oregon Museum of Art, Eugene.
Palm Springs Art Museum.
Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Phoenix Art Museum.
Port Authority, City of New York, NY.
Santa Barbara Museum, CA.
Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, Storrs.
University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.
Worcester Art Museum, MA.
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, State University of New Jersey, Rutgers, New Brunswick.
Les Krantz. The New York Art Review: An Illustrated Survey of the City’s Museums, Galleries and Leading Artists. 1988.
Les Krantz. American Artists an Illustrated Survey of Leading Contemporary American. (The Kratz Company Publishers, Inc., 1985).
Una Johnson. American Prints and Printmakers. (Doubleday, 1980)
Jules Heller. Papermaking. (Watson-Guptill, 1978)
Leo Steinberg. Other Criteria. (Oxford University Press, 1972) Harriet Janis & Rudi Blesh. Collage. (Chilton Co., 1962).
Amy Winter. Clinton Hill, 1980-2002. The Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Queens College, CUNY, 2003
National Academy of Design 178th Annual Exhibition. The National Academy of Design, New York, NY, 2003.
Abstract Dilemmas: American Abstract Artists. Martin Art Gallery, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA, 2002.
Andrea S Honore. Paper-Trail: Douglas Howell and four Pioneers in American Handmade Paper. State University of New Jersey, Rutgers, 2000.
Joan Price. Toward the New American Abstract Artists. Hillwood Art Museum, C.W. Post Campus, Long Island University, 2000
Toward the New: American Abstract Artists. Hillwood Art Museum, Long Island, NY, 2000.
National Academy of Design 174th Annual Exhibition. The National Academy of Design, New York, NY, 1999.
Pioneers of Abstract Art, American Abstract Artists. Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, CUNY, 1996.
American Abstract Artists 60th Anniversary Exhibition. The James Howe Fine Arts Gallery, Kean College Union, NJ, 1996.
American Abstract Artists. American Academy of Arts and Letters, 60th Anniversary Exhibition, New York 1995.
Mailbox Auction. Archives of American Art Smithsonian Institution, Southfield, MI, 1992.
The Persistence of Abstraction- American Abstract Artists 56th Annual Exhibition. Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, KS, 1992.
David Action. A Spectrum of Innovation: Color in American Printmaking, 1890-1960. Worcester Art Museum, 1990.
Three Hundred Years of American Painting: The Montclair Art Museum Collection, 1989.
Stephen Westfall. Clinton Hill, Marilyn Pearl Gallery, New York, 1988
International Biennial of Paper Art: Handmade Paper. Leopold-Hoesch Museum, Düren, Germany, 1986
American Watercolors, Pastels, Collages: an illustrated listing of works in the Brooklyn Museum Collection, 1984