March 1 – April 26, 2014
Abstract Expressionist Painter Natalie Edgar was a student of Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko and a close friend of Willem de Kooning. She was married to the late Ab Ex Sculptor Philip Pavia. She is a published author, former critic for ARTnews Magazine, Professor in the Arts (1976 1994), and a Pollock-Krasner Grant Recipient.
In her “Abstract Journey” exhibition, color in Edgar’s world plays a dynamic role in creating the vital atmosphere that individually informs each canvas, from the pastel like hues in “Island of Hydra” to the inky blacks in “Letter to Joan Miro.” A chamber orchestra medley of crimson, black, blues and pale green colored fragments, resembling at moments a mountainous landscape, dominate two-thirds of the canvas. Another zone, appearing as a kind of cloudy white corridor or portal occupying the left side of the painting beckons the alert viewer as a way to enter the composition.
Paintings such as “Wham-Pow!” the interlacing components build to a crescendo of choreographed movement, as if tectonic plates were pushing and pulling beneath the surface of the canvas, adding to the dual sensation of velocity and struggle. This time, the open white space appears on the right hand side of the canvas and provides a passage way to the storm tossed composition.
Since landscape also plays an important role in her work, it is useful to know that Edgar has spent many summers in Italy–hiking and drawing from nature the famed Apuan Alps near the town of Pietrasanta. Like her bold-faced references to Italian Renaissance masters such as Uccello in her painting titles, Edgar’s intimate association with the Alps and Italy also embrace some of the great figures from ancient history that traversed the same intimidating terrain, from Hannibal, the brilliant Carthaginian military commander to Michelangelo who sourced marble from those mountains.
Those faint, narrative threads strengthen the delicate fabric of her painterly vision.