Michener Art Museum Unveils Work by Philadelphia Painter Elizabeth Osborne

(Doylestown, PA) The James A. Michener Art Museum will present Veils of Color: Juxtapositions and Recent Work by Elizabeth Osborne, on view from July 25 to November 15, 2015.

Elizabeth Osborne, b. 1936, Audrey in Profile, 2014, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in. Private collection.

Elizabeth Osborne, b. 1936, Audrey in Profile, 2014, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in. Private collection.

This exhibition explores the arc of Osborne’s nearly six-decade career. It is an oeuvre of incredible artistic production distinguished by an exploration of the tension between realism and abstraction, a subtle pas de deux that is both revealed and concealed by veils of color that wash across every canvas. The exhibition, accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, is curated by Kirsten M. Jensen, Ph.D., Gerry and Marguerite Chief Curator, Michener Art Museum.

Osborne began her career in the early 1960s with a focus on still lifes, interiors, and figural subjects. These canvases were also explorations in color: shapes in muted tones sinuously brushed on canvas with the barest minimum of definition. In the 1990s, Osborne juxtaposed natural elements with alternately broad strokes or soft washes of paint to create slightly disorienting pictures that inhabit the space where abstraction and realism meet. Upon her retirement from teaching at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2011, she began to focus more intensely on color and the abstract qualities that have always been present in her painting since the 1960s. More recently still, Osborne has reinvigorated her interest in realism, combining color field with the figure to create deeply evocative and haunting portraits that recall some of her earliest canvases, while at the same time pushing beyond them into even newer territory.

The twenty-four works in the exhibition demonstrate the power of color when at the command of Elizabeth Osborne’s brush. Whether or not we can discern a subject, color dominates every canvas, gently pulsing in cool tones of blues and greens, or throbbing out at us in waves of hot pink and orange.

Several programs accompany the installation and include:

Artist Gallery Talk · Liz Osborne
July 28 – 1 to 2 pm

Curator’s Conversation· Kirsten M. Jensen, Ph.D. & Liz Osborne
October 6, 2015 · 1 to 2 pm

Studio Tour · Liz Osborne
October 16, 2015 · 1 to 2:30 pm
For registration and fees, please go to the website at MichenerArtMuseum.org