Maureen Chatfield’s resplendent abstraction on view at the latest incarnation of the legendary Rosenberg gallery felt quite at home in this intimate town-house setting. Chatfield’s painting have the same DNA as Rosenberg’s long line of modernest masterpieces, stamped by the influence of Picasso, the school of Paris—in particular, Nicolas de Staël—the Abstract Expressionists, and the Neo -Expressionists.
A natural colorist, Chatfield fearlessly mines the spectrum, from the gorgeous reds of Matisse to the rich blacks that conjure Franz Kline’s swashbuckling brushwork and Robert Motherwell’s Elegies to the Spanish Republic to the muted, nuanced shades of Richard Diebenkorn. Some of the most recent works are more overtly landscapes, Nevertheless, all adeptly balance the ration between abstraction and representation, and all are a celebration of nature.
Chatfield’s mood swings in these two dozen works (mostly 2013 and onward), some with titles that are place names, such as Georgica Pond (2013) and East End (2014). Others are more generalized such as the lovely Moontide (2013) and still others refer to fictive locales and states of being , such as Middle Earth (2014) and Meditation (2013). What Chatfield does best—by applying layer upon layer of paint—is to make paintings of palpable presence and pleasure. ULLY WEI
Original Source: ARTNEWS SEPTEMBER 2015
Maureen Chatfield, Middle Earth, 2014, oil on canvas, 20” x 24”.
My paintings are intuitive responses to the myriad forces that shape my life—emotions that translate into color, visual memories of forms and color relationships found in the landscape, and personal stories from my past. I have painted consistently since childhood, starting with oils, and am currently painting with acrylics as well, which enables me to create multiple layers rapidly without muddying my palette. The work process is one of constant experiment and change— building layers of color, form and image on the canvas revealing the underlying pentimento. My paintings are not planned, they are discovered, an evolution that is exciting and invigorating.
Of my three current series, Ether is the more interior, emerging directly from what is in my head, while Landscapes arises from direct experience—what I see in nature, captured by my internal camera and explosively transformed. Out of My Mind also focuses on direct experience; however, the experience is of human nature—traumatic and mysterious events, family gatherings and childhood memories. Together, these series forms a body of work that transcends topicality and embraces an ever-expanding category-defying approach to art that reflects my desire to spread beauty and joy through the transformative power of the creative process.
Art Students League, NY
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia
Fashion Institute of Technology, NY
Hunter College, NY
Studied with Jean Buckly, Ron Lent, Robert Saxton, Stuart Shils.
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