Sunday, August 25, 2013

Book Review - Emily Mason

(For those of you who know I am at present in Budapest, I scheduled this post before I left)

I am an avid collector of art books. Many are instructive but lots are about artists whose work I admire. One of those artists is Emily Mason.

GROUND FOG - Emily Mason

The above image is on p.78 and the cover of the book "Emily Mason - The Fifth Element"  by David Ebony (managing Editor At Art In America Magazine) 


Emily Mason was born in 1932 and is an American abstract painter known for her work in colour field painting and lyrical abstraction. This book showcases her career as an abstract painter active in New York City since the 1950s.

Her most recent exhibitions have been at the David Findlay Jr Gallery, NEWYORK
Her work incorporates elements of abstract expressionism, colour theory, references to the natural world, and personal intuition and instinct.  No wonder I'm besotted with it.

DEW DROP (p.76)

I found her by accident while cruising the net, and immediately went to the Book Depository site (see link on right hand side bar) to look for anything about her. I choose to buy from the Book Depository because local bookshops do not have the range of books available, they are relatively inexpensive, AND they deliver to my door INTERNATIONAL POSTAGE FREE usually within ten days.

Anyway, this book has become a fave and is the source of much inspiration for me. I often collect women artists because I admire their dedication to their work, often against all odds.

Emily Mason's abstractions have underlying geometric structures, but  the artist's work is driven, above all, by colour. Her abstractions are rich with areas of layered, saturated colour contrasted with delicate, translucent washes and glazes that resemble watercolour, with push and pull...


...with monochromatic planes interrupted by fissures and crevasses of other colours...

JUICE (p.67)

...expressive brushstrokes, scumbled, rubbed, scratched. Her masterful use of colour imbues her canvases with mysterious luminosity.


Overlapping and layered shapes in glowing yellows, brilliant reds, vivid oranges, rich blues, greens and deep purples shift and flow into each other.
In case you want to find it, details for the book are
Format: Hardback
Number of pages: 128
Width: 229 mm
Height: 254 mm
Thickness: 19 mm
Weight: 871 g
Language English
97 illustrations (86 colour)
ISBN 13: 9780977757152
ISBN 10: 0977757153
Included are a chronology of Mason's life and work and a list of illustrations.
The book concludes with a selection of prints made by applying ink and a paste of silicon and carbon to glass plates; in these works Mason's ethereal colours reach new heights of intensity.
The beautifully produced volume, the first comprehensive account of Mason's work, is a splendid tribute to an artist whose paintings deserve to be better known.
If you love colour, you could go no further than Emily's wonderful, luminous creations for inspiration.  I'm so glad I found her.




  1. Wow, she does beautiful work. she reminds me so much of my favorite painter Helen Frankenthaler.... enjoy your trip. Take lots of pics to share. Xox

  2. Wow, what gorgeous work with color! Very uplifting!! Enjoy your time away.

  3. I'm glad you shared about Emily, brilliant works, what a talent. Hope you are having a great time away.

  4. Hope you're having fun and managing some relaxing time too. Thanks for the introduction to Emily - you're right, her use of color is astonishing! Her book is going on my wish list...

  5. Wonderful colorful and rich artwork you've shared here Jo...
    Can hardly wait for your return ... Budapest sounds like a fabulous getaway!
    Miss you!

  6. What a lovely review, Jo...I love reading your descriptions of her work. Enjoy Budapest!

  7. Beautiful and vibrant work!!!

  8. Why else does a moth fly from the night than to a bold, attractive candle Light? Don't let His extravagant brilliance be extinguished, dude. You're creative, yes? Then fly-away with U.S to the antidote. . .

  9. Why else does a moth fly from the night than to a bold, attractive candle Light? Don't let His extravagant brilliance be extinguished, dude. You're creative, yes? Then fly-away with U.S to the antidote. . .

  10. Besotted is a great word to describe also my feeling about Emily's work. I too came to her work by accident on a friend's gallery's site. Do you know any one who sells prints of her work? I have been googling to no results. Hope you can help.