HANANIAH HARARI b Rochester 1913-d NY 2000
Hananiah Harari was a good friend. We had numerous and memorable talks. He was a sweet and loving man who created an incredible body of work. His early days as an artist were spent in Paris and he roomed at Soutine's studio. Harari exhibited at Mercury Gallery in New York and Stuart Davis wrote an essay for the catalog listing. In the 1930s, Harari was part of the WPA. He created a few murals and made some excellent prints in this period. He was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists Group. Hananiah was constantly evolving and refused to work in "one confined style". He made very precise Magic Realist paintings and was included in the Museum of Modern Art's famous show of the same title. Harari has also done illustration art and created covers for Fortune and other magazines, and even created a WW2 poster. He was hired by Portraits Inc. to paint portraits of their wealthy clients. Hananiah could work in a very tight or loose style. He was quite adaptable. He had a lovely home in Westchester County, NY which was featured in the book, Personal Homes of Artist's. It was always a magical experience to visit with this great and softspoken artist. Unfortunately he was part of the "witch-hunt" in the McCarthy Era. Early on Hananiah was a believer in our Labor Movement which usually and foolishly was associated with Communism. Harari was much more an American than Joseph McCarthy who was a sad and sick man who hurt many in the arts and other professions. This period affected Hananiah who was deeply hurt by this red- listing.
Hananiah Harari taught at my Alma Mater, The School of Visual Arts in NY City.
He had a fine long overdue museum show at The Neuberger Museum which travelled to the Montclair Museum. I remember seeing the artist at the opening, talking to almost everyone. This was a milestone for one of America's finest artists.
He passed away in 2000 from a cancer of the eye which I would deduce from the paints that he used.
I will say it over and over again - Never judge an artist by his auction records. It is nonsense. Buy commodities if you use a graph to determine whether or not to purchase. We all know Vincent Van Gogh's work did not sell in his lifetime. Harari is an important artist who has made a great contribution to American Art. Believe in the particular work!
UNTITLED. . 12 1/2 X 9 1/2" Oil on BOARD . Signed on FRONT. Original label on verso.
Untitled. 13"x8". Oil on canvas. signed and dated on verso.
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