Emily Mason was an American abstract painter known for her work in color field painting and lyrical, luminous abstraction. Her oil on canvas paintings are distinguished by a sense of intriguing intimacy combined with uncompromising, though gentle, intensity.
Born and raised in New York City, she graduated from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1955. Mason has had numerous one-person exhibitions of her work since her first solo show at the Area Gallery, NYC, in 1960. She has taught painting at Hunter College for more than 25 years, and her work is in numerous public and private collections.
Emily Mason passed away on December 10, 2019, but we remember her for her love of paint and painting:
"When I start a picture I like to use the medium as directly as I can...(this) puts me in a state of mind which avoids pictorial constraints. I try to use paint for its brilliance, transparency, opacity, liquidity, weight, warmth and coolness. These qualities guide me in a process which will determine the climate of the picture. All the while I work to define spatial relationships, resulting in certain kinds of places. I cannot name them but know intuitively when they appear." - Emily Mason
Emily Mason pictured above with her husband of 62 years, painter Wolf Kahn. photo credit: Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
They first moved to Brattleboro, Vermont, in 1968, and established their summer home and studio. In October of 2018, a major retrospective of Mason's work, "Emily Mason: To Another Place," opened at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. Here is a link to another remembrance of Emily Mason, by the Manchester Journal, featuring this exhibition and her work.