Harold Garde. Painting. 50 years.

Josh Garrick's picture

Artist Harold Garde, a legend of the American abstract expressionist
movement, celebrates his 85th birthday having recently had a work added
to the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, as the subject of a major
documentary film, his work celebrated in a retrospective exhibit at the
Museum of Florida Art, with the publishing of a major catalog funded by
the Abram and Ray Kaplan Foundation, and in a one-man exhibit at
Millenia Fine Art Gallery, the largest art gallery in the Southeast
United States. 


On Exhibit at the Museum of Florida Art (Deland, Florida) through February 15, 2009

HAROLD GARDE:  “Bring Me No Preconceptions”

On Exhibit at Millenia Fine Art Gallery (Orlando, Florida) March 13 to May 14, 2009

Opening (Public Invited) Friday, March 13 from 7 pm to 9 pm   


Harold Garde

Torso of a Modest Person, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 40' x 67"




Now the Museum of Florida Art and Millenia Fine Art Gallery have joined together to exhibit the bold and vivid creations of this American expressionist in a touring exhibit and in a one-man gallery exhibition. Garde’s compositions engage the viewer, promote thought and evoke emotion. The exhibits feature acrylic paintings on canvas and paper, and works in Garde’s own “strappo” technique of dry acrylic transfer.  


Harold Garde is a Florida artist who was privileged (following his active duty in World War II) to study with the leaders of the American abstract expressionist movement of the mid-20th century.  These ‘influences’ helped create his unique style as a painter.  His mediums include paintings, monotypes, and ‘strappos,’ a self-invented process of transferring dried acrylic paint from glass to paper or canvas.  Moving from simplicity of form to intense psychological works, Garde has always emphasized his belief in the personal and social necessity of art.  


Harold Garde

Tarotte, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 44" x 55"


MOFA curator Jeanne Dowis says, “Harold Garde is a painter’s painter. He is a master at composition and a genius with line. His works are often difficult to view, because they are simultaneously complex in message but simplified in presentation. I think the thing Harold would want you to know about him as an artist is that he considers his paintings to be his side of an on-going conversation about what it means to be human.  He’d like each of us to consider our own humanity and enter that discussion when we view his works.”  


Harold Garde: Painting. 50 Years is the first major retrospective touring exhibition with accompanying book and DVD presented by the Museum of Florida Art. The exhibit spans 50 years of the work of artist Harold Garde.  Today, at age 85, Garde enjoys the freedom to pursue his artistic pursuits as a professional artist in Florida with a summer home in Maine.  The Museum exhibition, funded by the Abram and Ray Kaplan Foundation, includes over 85 works and a major catalog spanning the artist’s career.  


Garde was inspired at an early age to create by both of his craftsmen parents.  Garde completed high school in New York City at the prestigious Stuyvesant High School, home to such alumni as James Cagney, and pursued a college education on the GI Bill after his military service.  Completing a BA from the University of Wyoming and an MA from Columbia University, he began a teaching career and also worked as a designer while pursuing his art.  


A contemporary of many of the ‘celebrated’ artists in New York during the 60’s, Garde fulfilled his responsibilities as father, husband and teacher until he was able to devote himself fully to his art. After 50 years as a professional artist, his studios and homes in Maine and Florida are full, and he continues to fill them with art.  Harold Garde is as active today, creating and exhibiting, as he was in his 20’s creating works that range in subject matter from figuration to pure abstraction. 


Harold Garde

Coke and Pitcher, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 41" x 65" 


Of his ‘subjects,’ Garde says, “Over the years I have used the images of chairs, single and in groups. I have a pinnacle series, a series with still life references; there are some series that have figures and faces, puppeteers and puppets; and a group of recent work related to the ‘T’ shape of the kimono. Such subjects, suitable for a series, attract me when they are generic, ones that are familiar, readily recognized, capable of being rendered with many variations. Whether they are presented subtly or boldly, small or large, fragile or monumental, I want my works to be capable of engaging the eye, the emotions and stimulating the mind of the viewer.”

To RSVP for the Harold Garde Opening at Millenia Fine Art (March 13, 2009), please call

407 304 8100 or visit www.MilleniaFineArt.com 


Feature work: Self Portrait as Stranger, 1987, acrylic on canvas, 66" x 44"