Maureen Gallace’s paintings delight me for their simultaneously spare choices and emotional intensity. The work is intimate in scale — often in the 9 x 12 inch range — and explores the landscape and social ecology of the American Northeast.
The work is often most powerful because of what’s omitted, allowing for what remains to speak more forcefully or as surrogate for what’s absent. For example, her paintings don’t include people, but reference human ecology through artifacts of our built environment. Her buildings may be devoid of windows or doors, or windows and doors may operate visually in ways that are unexpected. All of these strategies allow architectural artifacts to stand in for the complexity of our contemporary experience.
Some critics have reflected that the spareness of Gallace’s paintings make them abstractions more than figurative paintings. I personally find that observation to be glib, overlooking the way that her skillful design is layered with representational meaning.
Maureen Gallace talking about Paul Cezanne