Elizabeth Osborne: Luminous Gestures, 2013
Text by Carter Ratcliff
90 pages, Softcover
Published by Locks Art Publications
Elizabeth Osborne's paintings have become more radically abstract in the last decade, but one can trace the thick, elongated brushstrokes back to the views of Arizona, Maine, and Maryland from the late 1990s and early 2000s. The layers of paint that used to depict lands, seas, and skies become a pure juxtaposition of colors that sometimes overlap and undulate. Light has always been the essence of Osborne's art. "[Her paintings] acknowledge the edges and the surface in a manner that makes the canvas less tangible object than the site of the sheer luminosity that is, I believe, the crucial element of her art," writes Carter Ratcliff in the publication essay. Osborne paints looking out the window, outdoors at sunset, and in her Brandywine Street studio, inundated by natural light. The window, as a frame to the landscape, is a recurrent motif of hers, that dates back to her 1960s portraits and still lives of the mid-1975s. It reappears in the abstract form of a large rectangle that frames some new compositions, "both surrounding the picture and drawing you in the picture," in the artists' own words. Elizabeth Osborne's work was the subject of a retrospective exhibition curated by Robert Cozzolino at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (2009). She has exhibited extensively throughout the United States for over forty years. Her work is included in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA; The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE; and McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX.