NY Times Art in Review: Charlotte Park

Charlotte Park, “Blue Warning,” ca. 1953, oil on canvas, 32-3/4 x 34-3/4″
Charlotte Park, “Untitled (Red, Pink, Orange, and Black),” ca. 1955, oil on canvas, 28-1/2 x 36-1/2″

Charlotte Park, “Zachary,” ca.1955, oil on canvas, 36 x 47″

“Charlotte Park,” Spanierman Modern, New York, NY. Through November 27, 2010.

Roberta Smith reports: “It is probably too late for Charlotte Park, now over 90 and suffering from Alzheimer�s disease, to witness her ascension into the ranks of widely known Abstract Expressionists. A natural painter and gifted colorist, she is as good as several of the artists � both men and women � in the Museum of Modern Art�s current tribute to the movement, which was drawn almost entirely from its collection.

“At this point the Modern does not own any work by Ms. Park, who was born in Concord, Mass., in 1918 and graduated from the Yale School of Fine Arts in 1939. This may be because she decided to let her career take a back seat to that of husband, the painter James Brooks (1906-1992), who is represented by one canvas in the Modern�s show. One day an art historian may unravel some of the tangle of circumstance, personality and affection behind that choice….

“Ms. Park effortlessly reconciled painting and drawing, deriving a lively formal vocabulary from clusters of loops and spheres. Its compositional roots lay in still life, which she was not afraid to revisit. In �Untitled (Red, Pink, Orange and Black)� the strong, clear colors easily dominate intimations of fruit and platter. And in �Zachary,� the shapes dissolve into to an energetic back and forth between blue and green, cascading down a field of white. This painting in particular deserves prominent placement in a museum.”

One Comment

  1. Charlotte Park 1918 – 2010. Stopped by the Berry Campbell Gallery today to see the current exhibit of Charlotte Park's Paintings and work on paper. This work is as strong as it gets for a painter producing during the New York Ab Ex years I put her work right up there with the best. I was especially drawn to her 68 x 58 in. oil on canvas titled "Jubilee, C. 1955 a total mastery of composition and lyrical – gestural painting and also the work "Untitled II, C 1957 Collage and Gouache on paper, 22.5 x 28.5 in I wish I could call this work one of my own – It just resonates, What a treat for me to see this work and be introduced to such a great painter! Thank you Berry Campbell for a great show!
    Barry Masteller. New York

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