CLINTON HILL

WORKS FROM 1964/1965

JAN 16 - MAR 24, 2019

Royale Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by Clinton Hill from 1964/1965 opening Sunday January 13 and running through March 24. 

Let time retreat in the exhibition that never occurred. This solo show consists entirely of paintings and works on paper which are all part of a substantial body of work only recently rediscovered. Despite a significant career stretching from the 1950s to his death in 2003, very few of Hill’s works from this time have ever been on public display until Royale Projects debuted a small sampling that was “one of the most buzzed about presentations at the 2018 Frieze Fair in New York” as claimed by Ideel Art. 

Thirteen years after Hill’s death, the Clinton Hill/Allen Tran Foundation decided to close its storage facility and tucked away in the corner they uncovered two rolls revealing a series of forgotten paintings from the 1960s. Marylin Pearl Loesberg, a trustee of the Foundation and the gallerist who represented Hill following his early years with Zabriskie Gallery, states “we could hardly believe our eyes; color-saturated, light-infused, magical paintings that no one ever knew existed”. This exhibition will focus on some of the earliest of these found works and will continue to contribute to the reappraisal of Hill as one of the most important voices in American abstraction. 

The Art Newspaper described his paintings as “jubilant stripes and stains of thinned paint, recalling the work of Colour Field artists such as Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler”. As a lesser known member of the New York School, Hill’s style shares much with his contemporaries and is characterized by an idiosyncratic use of color and the marrying of plane and solid geometry. The mid 1960s was a period of intense activity which saw a significant increase in the artist’s largescale use of acrylics, as well as an incorporation of Minimalist influences. 

His works on paper from the period reveal an ambivalent engagement with the political realities of the 1960s. Collages make use of newspaper and magazine references to the Vietnam War and to Second-wave feminism, amongst other pertinent topics, and even incorporate campaign posters for the election to the Senate of Republican candidate Kenneth Keating. Hill’s incorporation of candy colors and images of shoes, dresses, jet planes and other graphic elements also share a close connection with the Pop Art movement that was birthing simultaneously in New York. 

Born in rural Idaho in 1922, Hill studied Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Oregon before being called up for military service in 1943 where he met his long-tern partner Allen Tran. They settled together in downtown New York, though they also travelled widely, with Hill studying in Paris and Florence, as well as visiting India, in the 1950s. 

Hill’s work is held in notable public collections globally, including Albright Knox, Buffalo, NY; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Getty Research Institute, John Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; British Museum, London, UK; Guggenheim Museum, NY; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Palm Springs Art Museum, CA and Georgia Museum of Art, Athens. This exhibition follows a major survey exhibition of the artist’s work, at the Georgia Museum of Art that opened early last year.