Fine expression

September 11, 2018

It was this great photo that prompted me to look up the work of abstract expressionist artist, Perle Fine. Joyously colourful and wonderfully textured, her paintings are hard to miss. And yet I have. In all my years of art history study, Fine never featured in any text book, lecture or seminar. Nor did Helen Frankenthaler. How can one teach abstract expressionism and not delve into the work of these two greats? I find it shocking that there are so many holes in my education. An entire gender. The only female artist I ever recall learning about was Berthe Morisot. Oh, and Camille Claudel, but more in the context of muse to Rodin. I read online that Samuel Kootz, a hugely influential 50s and 60s New York gallery owner, never allowed women artists to show at his gallery. To this, Fine responded, “I know I was as good as anybody else in there.”

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