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Paul Hultberg

Little Fault


Working in the ancient and mysterious medium of enamel on metal, Paul Hultberg created colorful and lyrical abstract paintings from the 1950s to the 1980s in ways that had never before been done. Hultberg removed himself from the art versus craft debate, pursuing his vision with determination in a material unfamiliar to many, yet fascinating to all. Hultberg took this traditional craft medium and spread it over vast planes, exploring its textural possibilities. Enamel had traditionally reflected light in its mirror-like surface; Hultberg played smooth against rough surfaces in large scale paintings that glisten with explosive color, but also absorb and exude darkness like a celestial black hole. Paul Hultberg was born in Oakland, California in 1926 and studied art at the University of Southern California and Fresno State College. Beginning in the 1950s as a painter and printmaker, by the 1960s Hultberg was recognized as a major contributor to the vitality and growing intersection of art and craft in America. In 1960, Hultberg???s work was featured as the cover story of the March-April issue of Craft Horizons; it was exhibited at the 1962 Seattle world???s fair and in 1966 was the subject of a one-man show at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York, and, in 1969, he was included in the landmark Objects USA exhibition. Hultberg joined the faculty of the State University of New York–Suffern, in 1966 and in 1993 he was designated Professor Emeritus there. The artist built a corpus of work that is of its time but transcends the trends of mid-20th century art and design. He lives forever in his art, and enamel is much like life: paradoxically fragile and easily broken if mis-handled but durable and very long-lasting when treated well.

Enamel on copper

Paul Hultberg


Born in 1926, Paul Hultberg was considered “among the most progressive artists working in enamel in the mid-twentieth century.” Later known as Paul Hammer-Hultberg, he was also a painter, a printmaker, a graphic designer and teacher. He was also well known for his large architectural panels. The work constitutes an unusual adaptation of the traditional craft in that he magnifies the scale; normally artists in enamel concentrate on jewel-like brilliance. Described as, “A veritable virtuoso in the field of enameling. Hultberg freely translates the forms and the random occurrences of nature into painterly abstract images. His technique and his style are clearly within the context of Abstract Expressionism, and both contribute essentially to a final effect of spontaneous creativity.” His surfaces are the more original expressions of an artist who mixes the visions of painter, printmaker and adventurous inventor. He represented a new generation of enamellists who embraced abstract expressionism. His enamels were big, and he specialized in making enamel look like it was applied in bold brushstrokes. The similarity to paintings by the most graphic of the abstract expressionist artists was unmistakable. In addition to numerous architectural commissions, the works of Hultberg have been exhibited internationally and were included in both the Seattle and New York World Fairs. He is represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

  • Material/


  • Dimension/

    62.2 x 121.9 x 2.5 cm (24.5 x 48.0 x 1.0 in)

  • Style/


  • Ships from/

    Philadelphia, PA

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