“That bachelor of nature, Henry David Thoreau, would have found himself at home in the Maine seasons so masterfully penetrated by Vincent Hartgen. For his paintings bear the inimitable imprint of joy, of spirited release, in a world man never made. And his consummate and daring freedom within the realm of watercolor endows him with the courage to exhibit his works under conditions just short of subjecting them to a blast furnace. That they can stand, stand up to, and sing outdoors in the blazing sunlight of a July afternoon with the clouds passing in a cerulean sky, placed against and among white birch trunks and spruce trees, with livid grass underfoot, testifies to their meeting in their way Walt Whitman’s challenge to a book that must stand being read outdoors.
No master watercolorist, John Marin not excepted, has more fully fused perception, passion and nature. Hartgen’s virtuosity in his medium, his subtlety and mastery, open realms to the seeing eye and his strength is commensurate with the cliffs, the seas, the sunrises and all the seasons of most rugged Maine. Marsden Hartley, too, that stylist and poet of Maine, I am confident, would have saluted a new master. For Hartgen has reached the point where intricate design lends depth to his reality.”
~ Herbert J. Seligmann,critic, New York, 1965