“I want the painting to be about a specific subject and about what is going on in my brain - intuition, feeling, judgment, memory. Avoid past ideas at all costs. Invent an equivalent without premeditation.”
Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to announce a major solo exhibition of new paintings by gallery artist, Martha Armstrong.
Armstrong’s muscular shapes and energetic compositions are hers alone to claim – a style that she’s developed and faithfully preserved over many decades. Her work harkens back to early American Modernists like Marsden Hartley and Arthur Dove and contemporary artists like Lois Dodd and Richard Diebenkorn. One can also see the influence of European movements such as Cubism and Fauvism.
An observational painter, Armstrong repeatedly returns to familiar subject matter, although each painting boasts its own content or, as the artist states, its own “intuition, feeling, judgment and memory”. Armstrong has been painting at the window of her Vermont studio for many years, never tiring of the opportunity to record the changing light and seasons with new eyes. As Roberta Smith, Critic for the New York Times, said in a review of Armstrong’s 2015 show at the Bowery Gallery, “At once improvisational and carefully carpentered, these paintings explode toward the eye, like nature on first sight, at its most welcoming and irrepressible.”
In addition to the landscapes, the current exhibition will feature a selection of still-life paintings, subject matter which Armstrong has long-explored but rarely displayed.
Born in 1940, Martha Armstrong has had an extensive and noteworthy painting career. She is a 1962 graduate of Smith College, and received a Master’s Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1963. Armstrong has taught at the Kansas City Art Institute, Smith, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Indiana University in Bloomington, among others. She has exhibited regionally and nationally and is in the permanent collections of The Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and many other public and private collections across the country. Armstrong has exhibited at Gross McCleaf Gallery regularly since 1974.