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 Harold Noecker  (1912 - 2002)

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Lived/Active: Illinois      Known for: streetscape, figure, interior painting

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Harold Noecker
An example of work by Harold Noecker
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A painter whose work was rediscovered in the late 20th century, Harold Noecker was born in Urbana, Illinois and remained active in Chicago as a painter in the 1930s and 1940s. He took art classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art and was trained as an architect at the University of Illinois.

Noecker's painting style was both surrealistic and realistic, "combining familiar objects in ways that are ultimately haunting and enigmatic." (Kennedy 135) Many of his houses and objects placed in interiors as well as figures are isolated in a manner that suggest haunting loneliness. It is thought that Noecker's single figures in interiors reflected the inner life of the artist himself. "Noecker also sometimes included a rushing figure or a hissing snake, ratcheting up the mystery of the scene." (Kennedy 135)

It is likely that because of the closeness of his style to Chicagoan Gertrude Abercrombie, a surrealist, Noecker and Abercrombie shared a joint exhibition in 1944 at the Chicago Art Institute in an area reserved for exhibitions of local artists. Reviewer Frank Holland in the "Chicago Sun Times", May 21, 1944, described the two artists as "well-known Chicago painters" who created "haunting eerie pictures that have a curious dreamlike other-worldness about them." (135)

Exhibition venues of Noecker's work in addition to the Art Institute were the Milwaukee Art Institute, the 1964 World's Fair in New York, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

Elizabeth Kennedy, "Chicago Modern"
Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

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