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 Cleo Hartwig  (1911 - 1988)

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Lived/Active: New York/Michigan      Known for: sculptor-mod figure, biogmorphic

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Ad Code: 3
Cleo Hartwig
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Cleo Hartwig was born in 1911 in Webberville, Michigan. Though known as a stone sculptor seeking the biomorphic essence of plant and animal forms, she also explored abstractions and the human figure in wood, bronze, clay, plaster and brass.

She became a member of the Sculptors Guild, New York City, in 1946; and was elected to the National Academy of Design, New York City, as an Associate in 1957, an Academician in 1970. Among prizes for her sculpture, are the Ellin P. Speyer Prize from the National Academy of Design; and the Edith H. and Richard Proskauer Prize from the National Sculpture Society, New York City, in 1984. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree in 1973 from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, where she had received her Bachelors Degree forty-one years earlier in 1932.

Hartwig's art education also included the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, in 1930-1931; summer art school at the International School of Art, New York City, in 1935, which enabled her to travel in Poland, Hungary and Rumania. Hartwig also studied with Jose de Creeft in 1937 in New York City at the New School for Social Research.

Cleo Hartwig exhibited widely in Europe, as well as the United States, in New York City; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Lincoln, Nebraska; Manchester, Vermont; Denver, Colorado; and Newark, New Jersey. Some one-person shows include the Sculpture Center, New York City, 1943, 1947 and 1981; an exhibition originating in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and traveling the western regions of that country in 1949-1950; another traveling show originating with the Art Guild, New York City, 1965-1966; and the Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey, in 1971.

Writings about Cleo Hartwig include her own article, with her husband Vincent Glinsky, "Direct Carving in Stone," in the Summer 1965 issue of National Sculpture Review; Dona Z. Meilach's book, published in 1970 by Crown, Contemporary Stone Sculpture: Aesthetics, Methods, Appreciation; and Virginia Watson-Jones' Contemporary American Women Sculptors, published by Oryx Press in 1986.

A paragraph from Enid Bell's "The Compatibles: Sculptors Hartwig and Glinsky," June 1968, in 'American Artist' magazine, discusses Cleo Hartwig's work habits. "An exponent of direct carving, she does not refer to a pre-conceived three-dimensional model, and only occasionally makes preliminary sketches from life. The concept, derived from a memory image, evolves during contemplative consideration of the mass, formation decisions being reached in the unhurried process of reduction with bush hammers, chisels, and rasps. She prefers this equipment to power tools which, because of their mechanical impetus, are alien to contemplation, tending to propel the user into the fatality of doing too much too soon."

Cleo Hartwig died in 1988.

Jules and Nancy Heller, "Women Artists of the 20th Century"

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