Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art  
Home Donate Contact Us


  SAMA Collections



collections > permanent collection > paintings >JOHN HULTBERG
John Hultberg
(American, 1922-2005)
Mexican, 1963
Oil on canvas, 40" x 50"
Gift of Anderson Gallery (98.087)


John Hultberg’s idiosyncratic paintings blend elements of Abstract Expressionism and traditional Realism.  Typically anchored by a recognizable horizon line and other signs of three-dimensional space, Hultberg’s compositions are otherwise frenetic and fragmented.  In Mexican and other works, Recognizable figurative imagery appears alongside painterly abstraction, prompting the viewer to question every aspect of the painting process, from the underlying narrative to the actual execution on the canvas. 


Hultberg studied in San Francisco, where as a young man he was introduced to Abstract Expressionism through Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko, and others who were then teaching at the California School of Fine Arts.  Completing his studies with Morris Kantor at the Art Students League of New York, the artist was afterward included in a show of rising talent held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1952.  After winning an important prize at the Corcoran Biennial in 1955, Hultberg established himself as a fixture in the New York art scene.  He won the praise of critics and for many years he was represented by Martha Jackson, a leading promoter of avant-garde painting in the United States.  Later in life, Hultberg divided his time between New York and Monhegan Island off the Maine coast.  Examples of his work may be found in many museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art.