“Herbert was constantly renewing himself as an artist. He never rested on his earlier inventions but moved on to new ways of applying paint that were original and different from anything else.” | Gudmund Vigtel, Director, High Museum of Art 1963-1991
Bill Lowe Gallery proudly announces our exclusive representation of the Estate of Herbert Creecy (1939-2003). Heralded as the most significant Abstract Expressionist painter ever to come from the South, Creecy’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), the High Museum of Art (Atlanta), the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, as well as in a vast array of blue-chip corporate and private collections. A carefully curated collection of Herbert Creecy’s never-before-seen paintings at Bill Lowe Gallery shines a new light on this historic artist.
Herbert Creecy’s dense and exuberant paintings employ a range of experimental techniques that were ahead of his time. Though widely known for his “squiggles”, the scope of Creecy’s oeuvre demonstrates his immense ingenuity and technical virtuosity. Wildly prolific, his imagery and influences were unbounded by traditional constructs. He often re-purposed and painted over canvases to unearth new compositions, pushing the spatial boundaries of the traditional picture plane. Creecy’s methodology allows his work to maintain its integrity and complexity in almost all orientations. What always remains is a pure painterly expression of an internal landscape.
Widely acknowledged as Atlanta's most renowned painter, Herb Creecy's “Southern-ness” gave him as much pride as lament; he was quoted to have often been disappointed with the limitations of the Atlanta arts scene. Yet, he never migrated nor disassociated from the regionality that was so integral to his identity. Abstract Expressionists like Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, and Robert Rauschenberg are rarely attributed to the South; their artistic careers were launched out of and driven by New York, their narratives often stripped of their geographical origins. Herbert Creecy maintained impressive artistic influence from his Atlanta base, where his creative mastery earned him a rightful place in the arc of art history.
The most renowned artist of Abstract Expressionism in the South was Herbert Creecy. Born in 1939 at Norfolk, Virginia, he grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. Creecy graduated from Northside High School in Buckhead and then attended the University of Alabama and graduated from the Atlanta School of Art. The French Government awarded him with a fellowship in 1964, where he studied with the famous English artist and printmaker Stanley William Hayter, founder of the influential Atelier 17 studio established in Montparnasse in 1927. Hayter influenced and taught print making to many famous artists, including Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollack, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, and Marc Chagall.
In Barnesville, GA, Creecy maintained his home and studio from an old cotton factory. Surrounded by his art, he developed his many ingenious techniques and creative motifs. One of these techniques utilized an air-brush to spray wet paint with a rhythmic effect. Another creation was his print making skills with polyurethane transfers, a skill where he applies the polymer on the canvas and uses a squeegee to press the liquid into the top layer of paint. Once dried, it accomplishes new found dimensions of space and random contours upon the canvas.
Creecy exhibited his work in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, London and Italy. His art resides in many museums and institutions ranging from the Whitney Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Norton Museum of Art, State of Georgia Art Collection, High Museum, Telfair, the University of Tennessee, and Clark Atlanta University. Corporate institutions have collected his work; the National Bank of Georgia, Portman Properties, the Marriot Marquis in Atlanta, the Waverly Hotel and the McDonald’s Corporation have preserved his legacy through their permanent collections.
1960 – 1964 Atlanta College of Art; Atlanta, GA
1964 S.W. Hayter Atelier 17, Paris
1958 – 1960 University of Alabama; Tuscaloosa, AL
A Legend Rediscovered, Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
Herbert Creecy, The Jacqueline C. Hudgens Center for the Arts; Duluth, GA
Promised Gifts from the Herbert Creecy Estate, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA); Atlanta, GA
Paintings from the 1990s, Mason Murer Fine Art; Atlanta, GA
Selected Works, Madison-Morgan Cultural Center; Madison, GA
Mixed Media and Works on Paper: Herbert Creecy, Mason Murer Fine Art; Atlanta, GA
Herbert Creecy: Works from the Private Collections of the artist’s friends and patrons, MOCA GA; Atlanta, GA
8th Annual Masters Series: Herbert Creecy: Curves, Swerves and Repetitions, City Gallery East; Atlanta, GA
Herbert Creecy: Connectedness, Zinc Contemporary Art; Bluewater Bay, FL
Herbert Creecy: Shakin’ Shanty 1982 – 1990, Wade Gallery; Los Angeles, CA
Shakin’ Shanties ’83 – ’90, Novus, Inc.; Atlanta, GA
Novus Gallery, Inc; Atlanta, GA
Recent Paintings, Wade Gallery; Los Angeles, CA
Herb Creecy, Alexander Gallery; Atlanta, GA
Paintings 70s through 80s, Lamar Dodd Art Center, LaGrange College; LaGrange, GA
Works on Paper, Highland Gallery; Atlanta, GA
Paintings and Things ’66 – ’88, Nexus Contemporary Art Center; Atlanta, GA
Herbert Creecy: Recent Paintings, Patricia Carega Gallery; Washington, DC
Fay Gold Gallery; Atlanta, GA
V.N. International Gallery; Alexandria, VA
Cumberland Gallery, Knoxville, TN
University of Tennessee Art Gallery, Knoxville, TN
Heath Gallery; Atlanta, GA (also 1980, 1979, 1977, 1974, 1973)
Auburn University Art Gallery; Auburn, AL
Objects Gallery; Savannah, GA
Dick Jemison Gallery; Birmingham, AL (also 1978, 1974)
D.M. Gallery; London, England
Herb Creecy, Image South Gallery; Atlanta, GA (also 1972)
OK Harris; New York; NY
Herb Creecy: Recent Works, High Museum of Art; Atlanta, GA
Ilian Gallery; Atlanta, GA (also 1968)
Unitarian Universalist Congregation; Atlanta, GA
Clark Atlanta University; Atlanta, GA
Mandola Gallery; Atlanta, GA
High Museum of Art; Atlanta, GA
2010 Twenty Georgia Masters, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA); Atlanta, GA
2010 Recent Acquisitions, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA); Atlanta, GA
2006 Light-Sound Intersections: Structure and Movement in Space and Time, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA); Atlanta, GA
2005 MOCA Majors (from the permanent collection of MOCA GA), MOCA GA; Atlanta, GA
2004 Wayne Kline and the Rolling Stone Press, MOCA GA; Atlanta, GA
2004 Selected Works: State of Georgia Art Collection, MOCA GA; Atlanta, GA
2002 Artists of the Heath Gallery: 1965 to 1998, MOCA GA; Atlanta, GA
Georgia Triennial, Telfair Museum of Art; Savannah, GA
2001 Important Georgia Masters: Ed Moulthrop and Herbert Creecy, SunTrust Gallery; Atlanta, GA
1997 Progressive Art for a Progressive Alabama, The Partners Gallery of The Business Center of Alabama; Montgomery, AL
Lithographs of Work by Atlanta College of Art Alumni, ACA Gallery 100
1994 Herbert Creecy and Paula Jean Rice, South Gallery, Florida Community College of Jacksonville; Jacksonville, FL
1993 Perspectives of Contemporary Art: Herbert Creecy, Sidney Guberman, Jim Touchton, Swan Coach House Gallery; Atlanta, GA
1992 10th Anniversary Visiting Artists Exhibition, Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture, University of Tennessee; Knoxville, TN
1992 Original Stone (lithograph printed at the Rolling Stone Press), Gwinnett Council of Art; Lawrenceville, GA
1991 Selected Lithographs by Southern Artist (lithograph printed at Rolling Stone Press), Moody Gallery of Art, University of Alabama; Tuscaloosa, AL
In and About Atlanta, Nexus Contemporary Art Center; Atlanta, GA
Visiting Artist Exhibition: Painters Karen Shaw and Herb Creecy, Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture, University of Tennessee; Knoxville, TN
1990 Master Prints from the Rolling Stone Press, Wesleyan College; Macon, GA
Gesture/Fluidity/The Stroke, Chastain Gallery; Atlanta, GA
Herbert Creecy and Whitney Leland: New Work, Cumberland Gallery; Nashville, TN
1989 Retrospective Show, Rolling Stone Press, Columbia Museum of Art; Columbia, SC
Selected Lithographs from the Rolling Stone Press, Columbus Museum of Art; Columbus, GA
1988 Fall Exhibition, Swan Coach House Gallery; Atlanta, GA
1988 Rolling Stone Press: Southeastern Artists, Student Center Gallery, Georgia Institute of Technology; Atlanta, GA
Contemporary Artists in Georgia: Selections from the High Museum’s Collection, High Museum of Art at the Georgia-Pacific Center; Atlanta, GA
Adams Outdoor Advertising Company; Atlanta, GA
Robert Sowers, Herbert Creecy, OK South; Miami, FL
1987 Inman Park and Virginia-Highlands Annual Open Studios and Sale; Atlanta, GA
1986 Paths Crossed, Highland Gallery; Atlanta, GA
Ten Artists, 10 Years, Gallery 291; Atlanta, GA and the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center; Madison, GA
1985 Southern Connections, Blount Invitational; Montgomery, AL
1984 Art Contemporania Della Carolina Del Nord, Della Carolina Sud E Della; GA, USA/ Volti Del Sud; Rome, Italy
Images on Paper Invitational, Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture, University of Tennessee; Knoxville, TN
1983 Southern Abstractions: Five Painters, Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture, University of Tennessee; Knoxville, TN
University of Georgia Art Department of Art Faculty Exhibition, Georgia Museum of Art; Athens, GA
Eyeball to Eyeball: Bob Beauchamp and Herbert Creecy, University of Georgia Department of Art Gallery; Athens, GA
1982 Artist in Georgia, Lamar Dodd Art Center; LaGrange, GA
Toys Designed by Artists, Little Rock Art Center; Little Rock, AK
29th Arts Festival of Atlanta; Atlanta, GA
LaGrange National VII, Chattahoochee Valley Art Association; LaGrange, GA
1980 Artists in Georgia, High Museum of Art; Atlanta, GA (also 1979, 1974 and 1971)
1979 Art Patron Art, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art; Winton-Salem, NC
1978 Painting Invitational, West Carolina University; Cullowhee, NC
1977 35th Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting, Corcoran Museum of Art; Washington, DC
1976 35 Artists in the Southeast, High Museum of Art; Atlanta, GA
1974 Italia 2000, Naples, Italy
1973 Artist Biennial Preview, New Orleans Museum of Art; New Orleans, LA
New American Abstract Painting, Vassar College; Poughkeepsie, NY
Artist Choice I and II, Oglethorpe University; Atlanta, GA (also 1972)
1970 The American Federation of Arts Drawing Society National Exhibition, Atlanta, GA
Southeastern Annual Exhibition, High Museum of Art; Atlanta, GA (also 1966, 1965 and1964)
1967 Annual Garden Exhibition, Callaway Gardens; Pine Mountain, GA (also 1966 and 1964)
Hunter Museum Annual Exhibition, Hunter Museum of Art; Chattanooga, TN (also 1964)
1966 Art in Embassies Program, United States State Department; Washington, DC
1965 South Annual National Invitational Exhibition, University of Tennessee; Knoxville, TN
1964 New Arts Gallery; Atlanta, GA
1963 The Mead Corporation Ninth Annual Painting of the Year Competition Exhibition; Atlanta, GA
1962 Georgia Artists Show, Savannah, GA
CORPORATE AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
Mead Packaging Corporation; Atlanta, GA
King & Spalding; Atlanta, GA
Alston & Bird; Atlanta, GA
Troutman Sanders; Atlanta, GA
Kilpatrick Stockton; Atlanta, GA
Paul Hastings; Atlanta, GA
McKenna, Long & Aldridge; Atlanta, GA
Powell Goldstein; Atlanta, GA
Kutak Rock; Atlanta, GA
Shearson Lehman Hutton American Express, Inc; Atlanta, GA
Bank South; Atlanta, GA
Waverly Hotel; Atlanta, GA
Richard B. Russell Federal Building; Atlanta, GA
Surf Air; Atlanta, GA
Portman Properties; Atlanta, GA
Barton Protective Services Inc; Atlanta, GA
Patio Restaurant; Atlanta, GA
Marra’s Restaurant; Atlanta, GA
Marriot Marquis; Atlanta, GA
National Bank of Georgia; Atlanta, GA
Wilma Southeast; Atlanta, GA
J.B. Sadler Ltd; Glenview, IL
Heery International; Atlanta, GA
American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation; Chicago, IL
McDonald Corporation; Oak Park, IL
Alabama Power Company; Birmingham, AL
First National Bank of Birmingham; AL
Chase Manhattan Bank; New York, NY
IBM Corporation; Raleigh, NC
Federal Reserve Bank; Richmond, VA
Jemison Investment Company; Birmingham, AL
Fuqua National; Atlanta, GA
Omni International; Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Capital Management, Inc; Atlanta, GA
Southern Progress Corporation; Birmingham, AL
Gay Construction Company; Atlanta, GA
Cousins Properties (First Union Tower); Greensboro, NC
Bridgestone Corporation; Nashville, TN
Wolf, Debra. Color Unfurled: The Joy is Palpable in Notable Georgia artist’s swirling, curving hues. Atlanta Journal Constitution. July 1, 2007.
Fox, Catherine. Creecy Through Thick and Thin. Atlanta Journal Constitution. July 27, 2003.
Millay, Amanda. Room to Remember: Collective exhibit honors Northside Artist. Northside Neighbor. July 16, 2003.
Fox, Catherine. Dynamic Art Mirrored Life of Herbert Creecy. Atlanta Journal Constitution. July 1, 2003
Nelson, Charles. Reviews Southeast: Atlanta (Georgia Triennial). Art Papers Magazine, July/August 2002.
Exhibition Catalogue, Georgia Triennial – Herbert Creecy, pages 19 -20, 2002.
Fox, Catherine. Bold, Beautiful & Brilliant: Herbert Creecy has a love affair with paint. Atlanta Journal Constitution, February 8, 2002.
Fox, Catherine. Something old, something new from 2 masters. Atlanta Journal Constitution. 2001.
Sanders, Luanne. Shack Showcase. Creative Loafing Atlanta. November 10, 1990. Pages 27 – 28.
Jinkler-Lloyd, Amy. The Southern Artist: Herb Creecy, from Abstract Expression: Sea Island Setting for Art and Architecture. Veranda Magazine. Summer 1990. Pages 92 – 95.
Fox, Catherine. Area artists get a chance to shine in exhibitions at Chastain and Heath. Atlanta Journal Constitution. February 26, 1990.
Heath, Leanne B. The Town, The World. Southern Homes Magazine. Vol. 7 No. 3, (May/June 1989), pages 86 – 90.
Jinkler-Lloyd, Amy. Creecy Retrospective celebrates one man’s commitment to art. Atlanta Journal Constitution. March 17, 1988.
Boyd, Bill. Warehouse Is His Home, Studio. Telegraph. 1977.