M AUR EEN C HAT FIE L D
PA IN T ING S
J ULY 13 â€“ S EPTE MBE R 12, 2015
19 E AST 66 TH S T R E E T 212.202.3270
N E W Y O R K , NY 10065
W W W. R O SE N B E R GC O . C O M
Rosenberg & Co. is committed to the support and development of fine contemporary artists. We firmly believe that it is the responsibility of an art dealer to bolster the standing, and contribute to the promotion, of living artists. Rosenberg & Co. is pleased to present the works of Maureen Chatfield. It was quite by happenstance that we noticed Chatfieldâ€™s work. But once seen, it is hard to forget. Thus started a close relationship, certainly one of the most felicitous associations between artist and gallery. Chatfield defies labels. Her paintings integrate fresh vision and invention with color play and sensitive brushwork. Chatfield uses the logic of abstract design with inherent poetry. Her abstract expressionism is both lyrical and forceful. Our only regret is that more space at Rosenberg & Co. would have spared us the grievous act of selecting, sometimes arbitrarily, among too many riches.
M AR I AN NE R O SE NB E R G
I N T RO D UC T IO N
Maureen Chatfield embraces the traditions of art and takes these allusions in a personal direction of self-expression. Her art merges the influences of New York Abstract Expressionism with Bay Area Figurative painting. In her work we see a combination of lessons learned from Richard Diebenkorn, Hans Hoffman, and Willem de Kooning, with a touch of Paul Klee thrown in for playfulness and irony. Chatfield deftly works on both large format and intimate scale paintings and often uses a subtle, harmonious color palette with bold contrasts tied together with a creative use of line. The rough hewn, textured surfaces add a three-dimensionality to her work that disrupts the surface of the picture plane. Blocks of color advance, recede, and harmonize according to the need for pictorial unity. Although the viewer may first notice the dynamic swathes of color in her paintings, Chatfield exhibits a creative handling of the linear aspects in her work as well. More often than not, the line has a scumbled edge, but she also utilizes a hard edge to create discrete areas necessary for the picture balance. Her use of the technique of scumbling — overlaying areas with opaque or semi-opaque color applied thinly and lightly with an almost dry brush — gives her line a lost-and-found quality that serves multiple purposes. It unites two color areas not only by causing one color to recede in space and projecting one forward but, in other instances, by fixing a particular area of the painting in place. Drips anchor Chatfield’s color units to the area below and connect the planes, giving them an almost organic quality, as in the lower left quadrant of Moontide [Plate 3]. The paint drips also provide a structural support for an area of color; this can be seen in the lower left section of Over It [Plate 5].
Chatfield’s skill is in ascertaining when to use each effect to create balance and unity in each particular work. For example, in Over It, her use of scumbled line creates a varied contrast of light and dark color areas that intertwine and have the effect of dancing with one another. This particular work combines all of Chatfield’s signature techniques of robust color, biomorphic shapes, scumbled lines, pronounced surface texture, and drips of paint, along with the overall playfulness of the painting. Middle Earth’s [Plate 1] complex composition presents visual themes emblematic of Chatfield’s oeuvre. An abstract landscape of deep, rich blues and greens is broken into clearly demarcated sections of textured color with subtle blending. Four horizontal bands and three vertical areas flow from the multiple polygons of color. The blues and greens are mixed with nuanced transitions and repetitions within each area. The slightly off-center red highlight holds the composition together with the use of a complementary color and visually unites with the blended orange towards the left. The incised line that touches the red highlight and veers off to the left creates a triangular unit of space in the upper left that balances with the triangular area of the deep blue just below. Maureen Chatfield’s paintings are records of her artistic explorations and demonstrate her interest in expressive color and dynamic tension. Using color as her main expressive means, her work maintains its compositional integrity and joyfully expresses her vision. Her paintings are like topographical maps of her interior landscape: abstract, colorful, complex, and textured.
R O SS M I TC HE LL DIRECTOR, BARNES–DE MAZIA EDUCATION AND OUTREACH PROGRAM BARNES FOUNDATION, PHILADELPHIA
1. Middle Earth, 2014 Oil on canvas 20 x 24 inches
2. Joy Ride, 2011 Oil on canvas 24 x 36 inches
3. Moontide, 2013 Oil on canvas 30 x 60 inches
4 Hither and Yon, 2012 Oil on canvas 12 x 20 inches
5. Over It, 2015 Acrylic on canvas 60 x 48 inches
6. Right as Red, 2015 Acrylic on canvas 40 x 30 inches
7. Boulder Hill, 2013-2015 Oil on canvas 24 x 30 inches
8. Number Nine, 2014 Acrylic on canvas 48 x 80 inches
9. Left Out, 2015 Oil on canvas 48 x 48 inches
Rosenberg & Co. Â©2015
Published on Jul 14, 2015
The exhibition catalogue accompanying Maureen Chatfield's solo show that was on view from July 14 - September 9, 2015 at Rosenberg & Co.