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Works by a ‘Largely Forgotten’ Artist Were Found in a Dumpster. Now They’re Getting an NYC Show.

A group of paintings by Francis Hines will go on view at Hollis Taggart’s locations in Manhattan and Connecticut.

Francis Hines Untitled Courtesy of Hollis Taggert

A group of paintings by Francis Hines, an obscure artist active in 1970s and ’80s New York, that were rediscovered after having been discarded near a Connecticut barn will be showcased by a Manhattan gallery next month.

Thirty large-scale abstract paintings were among several hundred works found in 2017 by a local mechanic named Jared Whipple on a property in Waterbury, near the artist’s former studio. Whipple recovered the pieces from an industrial dumpster alongside other debris left behind after Hines’s death in 2016 at the age of 96.

Some of the paintings will go on view at Hollis Taggart’s locations in Chelsea and Southport, Connecticut, from May 5 to June 11.

The artist’s family and the handler’s of Hines’s estate allowed Whipple to keep the found works, according to previous reports, though the terms of that agreement have not been made public.

This is not the first time the works have been showcased since the discovery. Whipple worked with historian and publisher Peter Hastings Falk to organize an exhibition at the Mattatuck Musuem in Waterbury, Connecticut, dedicated to the recovered paintings last year. Hastings Falk estimated the value of the paintings are around $22,000, according to the Guardian.

Hines was lesser known during his career than his contemporaries active in the 1980s New York art scene. He is remembered primarily for an installation in which he shrouded an arch in Washington Square Park in fabrics in a style that mimics Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s “wrapping” of public monuments.

Sometime in the late 1960s to 1970s, after securing gallery representation with a SoHo dealer, Hines relocated to Waterbury, where he converted a barn into a studio space. He had been producing art there until 2016.

“I am particularly interested in presenting the work of artists who have been left out of mainstream art history, whether it be by active omission or by chance,” said dealer Hollis Taggart, in a statement. “It is extremely rare to come across so many works by a largely forgotten artist,” he continued, saying that the forthcoming exhibition is a chance “to consider how his work might fit into the history of American art movements like Abstract Expressionism.”

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