past exhibitions

Abstract Narratives: Marjorie Schlossman

June 10 - August 8, 2004

Walking into the exhibition of her work was like stepping into a history lesson in the continuation of twentieth century painting. For just as the seeds of Richard Diebenkorn's Ocean Park Series can be seen in the landscape paintings of Henri Matisse, the roots of Marjorie Schlossman's paintings are lodged in the drawings of Arshile Gorky, in the automatic writing of the Surrealists, and in the abstractions of such West Coast painters as Gordon Onslow-Ford and Diebenkorn.

In naming the exhibition Abstract Narratives, Schlossman acknowledged that her sweeping abstract gestures often suggest figures in the landscapes, processionals, gatherings of creatures of all kinds. As the mother of seven children, her creatures are often resemble children or a child's make-believe world, a sense reinforced by their cartoon-like nature. This or that? As the artist said, "Today I am reluctant to nail down my images, my color, or my composition. I intend to leave the tension in the painting and not jump to any predetermined endings [Motherwell]….I must live with or in the tension created by the lack of resolution in order to create more interesting, individual, and rare work. Let the chaos organize itself." Nonetheless, in her most realized paintings she arrives at ambiguity. Her line is a mark, a gesture, the fingerprint of the artist, but it also functions as a contour that defines forms and suggests pictorial space. The tension between the two animates her best paintings.