April on Art and Design
In South Florida and Beyond
Abstract Expressionism Is Back!
In the Art of Charlotte Maloney
Abstract expressionism is back. But for painter Charlotte Maloney, this truly American art movement has never faded. Maloney, who also teaches studio art and art appreciation at Palm Beach State College, Florida, has continued to work in this style, along with other mediums, from the time she studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City in the 1960s. She has used abstract expressionism, so famous for its ability to convey inner feelings, to produce a variety of emotions through vivid color and powerful design.
Maloney's canvas Impressionism is a case in point. The background of the canvas, which is composed of dark green color mixed with turquoise, teal and yellow, creates a forest-like feeling of mystery and suspense. But the viewer's eye is distracted from this forest by the hypnotic white and brown lines which swirl around the painting as if searching for resolution over this dark and threatening landscape. Maloney has created a mood that suggests a struggle for answers over chaos and conflict, a mood that would be hard to convey so quickly any other way. .
" The strength of my work lies in color
which reflects the different mood states in my life."
"I paint mostly brushless," explains Maloney. "I pour on the paint and experience the accident. The strength of my work lies in color which reflects the different mood states in my life." Maloney's technique is reflective of Jackson Pollack's "action painting.". During a certain period of his life Pollack preferred to place his canvasses on the floor and drip paint on them.
"Richard Pousette-Dart...taught me how to paint
from the inside out on a blank canvas."
But Maloney demurs from such a label. She says she was most inspired by Richard Pousette-Dart, one of her New York teachers, who is considered the founder of the New York school of art. "He taught me how to paint from the inside out on a blank canvas, and how to get in touch with what you feel from the inner depth." she says. She also points out that part of his technique, unlike that of Pollack, was to use piles of thick paint.
Pousette-Dart's influence comes through clearly in Maloney's powerful painting PInk and Blue. Here she combines heavy layers of paint with the use of mixed media collage. The colors, contours and shapes she selects produce a joyous explosion of pinks and blues. Happiness permeates the painting almost like a flash of lightening and immediately elicits viewer smiles. But at the same time, the very spontaneity of the painting plants a seed of doubt, that makes the viewer wonder if this joy is fleeting rather than lasting.
More of Maloney's abstract expressionist art, as well as her work in other mediums such as watercolor landscapes, may be found on her website at charlottemaloneyartist.com.
which flourished in New York City after World War II,
was the first American art movement to achieve
"Art washes away