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Orlando Museum of Art acquires a painting by noted artist, Harold Garde
Harold Garde, Dark Landscape, 1965, oil on board, 72 x 48 inches. © Harold Garde. Image courtesy of the artist. Acquired by the Orlando Museum of Art.

ORLANDO, FLA.- The Orlando Museum of Art announced the acquisition of Dark Landscape, a painting created in 1965 by the renowned American artist Harold Garde. Garde’s extraordinary artistic career spans over 70 years. Graduating from Columbia University in 1951, Garde was immersed in the New York art world just as Abstract Expressionism was gaining worldwide attention. Garde’s paintings reflect his engagement with this movement and his regard for artists such as William de Kooning, Robert Motherwell and others working in New York at that time. While Garde’s work has shifted fluidly between abstraction and representation throughout his life, the spirit of creative discovery and the vitality of gestural painting, which are hallmarks of Abstract Expressionism, have remained central to Garde’s work.

Dark Landscape is an abstract composition that only hints at the subject of its title with pale yellows in the upper left that cast a sunset glow above a shadowy expanse of somber colors. The surface is animated by gestural brushwork, wild splatters, pigment that has been scraped and lines that have been carved through the paint with the end of a brush. The viewer senses the energy of the artist at work as he develops ideas in the painting and then responds to what he sees. As in other works of the period, Garde uses bold strokes of black paint to create a visual structure that holds together the fluid energy of the composition.

In 2015, the Orlando Museum of Art organized Harold Garde: Mid-Century to this Century, a solo exhibition of abstract painting which included Dark Landscape along with others from the period as well as recent works. Also in 2015, Garde was the subject of a documentary about his life and studio practice, Art and Spirit, by the award winning filmmaker Dale Schierholt. The Museum is delighted to add this painting to its growing collection of mid-20th century American painting.

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