The knife places the paint, one color after another, like animal prints or musical notations. - Shirley Goldfarb’s diaries
Loretta Howard Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition “Painting Paris” featuring both large-scale and small paintings by Shirley Goldfarb. To mention Shirley Goldfarb is to conjure an image of Paris, a city she loved deeply and called home for 26 years. In 1953, she and her husband Gregory Masurovsky moved from Manhattan to Paris, where, like so many others from their generation, they survived on the GI Bill. Goldfarb adopted a purely abstract style, breaking completely with the figurative Expressionism that had characterized her academic training in New York.
The densely chorded knots of paint in Goldfarb’s 1950s abstractions gave way to careful painterly marks eventually made with a pallet knife. The drama of composition in her earlier works was supplanted by the woozy power of all-over color. George Seurat’s influence is particularly pronounced in this development. Indeed, the precisely knifed grids of paint take their cues from pointillism. These works abandon a centerline or obvious compositional motif in favor of the atmospheric power of French Impressionist painting.