Harold Garde Remembrance Ceremony
Harold Garde Remembrance Ceremony. Mills Gallery celebrated the life of beloved artist, Harold Garde. We lost this creative soul, but we are grateful to have witnessed his imaginative mind and heart.
Born in New York, NY, in 1923, Garde completed his BA in Fine Arts at the University of Wyoming after serving in the Air Force during World War II. While at the University of Wyoming, Garde studied with leading abstract artist George McNeil, surrealist Leon Kelly, and geometric abstractionist painter Ilya Bolotowsky. Garde then returned to New York, completing a MA in Fine Arts and Art Education in 1951.
In the 1950’s and ‘60’s, Garde was a part of the New York Abstract Expressionists. He became increasingly committed to figurative abstraction in the 1970’s and moved into Neo-Expressionism in the 1980’s and 1990’s before returning towards abstraction more recently. In total, Garde has made a significant, if often under-recognized contribution to Post-War American art.
In Honor Of Artist Harold Garde
June 7, 1923 – October 11, 2022 – 99 years old
Central Florida’s Art Community Honored Artist Harold Garde at A Remembrance Ceremony On December 11th, 2022.
Remembrance Ceremony – Harold Garde
In the mid-1980s, Garde invented, developed, and named Strappo printmaking, an artistic technique combining painting and printmaking that he taught in workshops nationwide. Transferring dried acrylic paint layers from glass or another smooth surface onto paper or canvas produces a layered image’s reversal and Strappo monotype. In celebration of his 90th birthday and as a New Year’s challenge, Garde created one new Strappo print each day for the first 90 days of 2013.
More About Harold Garde:
Abstract expressionist art mixed with surrealist and figurative elements defined Garde’s early work. In the early 1980s, his subjects transitioned from rounded human figures to structural shapes, segueing to series of objects, such as chairs, vases, and kimonos. Some of his paintings focus on a sequence of letters or numbers. Garde’s work executed in Maine incorporates colors far more vibrant than those from his earlier years in New York. He attributed this transformation to Maine’s natural light and wanting his paintings to be brighter and fresher in his advanced age. Some of his mediums include acrylics on canvases of various sizes, ceramic, and clay sculptures, and Strappo prints.
There are a few notable works by the late Harold Garde. One of these pieces, Iconoclass (c. 1970s), was added to the Museum of Florida Art’s permanent collection. Iconoclass is a 8×24-foot, 16-panel mural. Garde’s work is also on display as part of permanent collections in the Portland Museum of Art, Farnsworth Art Museum, New Mexico Museum of Art, University of Wyoming Art Museum and Bibliothèque nationale de France.
A Pioneer For Abstract Expressionism
Garde was one of the founding members of the American Abstract Artists. Abstract Expressionism as a movement included a wide variety of artists working in New York. What made Abstract Expressionism different was that the artists in this movement had vastly different styles in their practice, but they shared a core philosophy in the way that they created art. One of these core beliefs was the idea that the real work of art was an “open-ended process of creative discovery”. Garde’s work was heavily influenced by expressionist art mixed with surrealistic and figurative elements.
Harold Garde has inspired all of us in ways we never knew was possible. He was the Mr. Miyagi of the Art world here in Orlando. Harold was well-known and loved in the Central Florida art community, as well as in his primary residence of Belfast, Maine. Harold Garde has cultivated an art career that has spanned several decades. Garde’s major works included painting, drawing, and prints that reveal his early and vigorous engagement with Abstract Expressionism as well as the persistent innovation of his mature artistic experimentation.