The splashy gestural coloramas of Mary Ann Flynn-Fouse are in a painterly style often referred to as "abstract expressionism". whatever the moniker given these moving paint, shape, textural dramas they are immediate and self-contained, limiting their dynamic appeal to their reality as paintings and minimalizing any reference to natural phenomena seen or recalled from somewhere beyond the limits of the paintings.
"Mary Ann Flynn Fouse began her career in the 1950’s at Kent State University, where she studied art and earned a degree in art education. It was an exciting time to be an art student at Kent State because just 450 miles to the northeast, a loosely affiliated group of visionaries were doing paintings that would shift the center of the art world from Paris to New York City.
The painters had names like Pollack, de Kooning, Rothko and Motherwell and their paint drips, gestural brushstrokes and glowing soft edged rectangles of luminescent color shook the established art world to its very foundation. The majority of critics and collectors dismissed the “New York School” as mad men, charlatans or worse, Beatniks of the New York art scene.
But the radical, avant garde cache’ of abstract expressionism appealed to Mary Ann Flynn Fouse. She found herself in the minority among her graduating class. “Only three of us went into abstract expressionism. Everyone else either became a realist or impressionist” says Flynn Fouse, reflecting back on her nearly 60 year career as an abstract painter. “I was a fan of doing something new. Mentally, I’m still very modern.”
Abstract expressionism suited her temperament then and now. The movement itself traced it’s origins to surrealism and cubism, and members of the new York school undoubtedly fed off the energy and post-war angst of artists like Dali, Ernst, Masson, Breton, Mondrian and Leger, who’d all fled to new York in the years leading up to Nazi Germany’s invasion of France in May 1940. But Pollack, de Kooning, Rothko, Motherwell and Flynn Fouse were also heavily influenced by constructs like Carl Jung’s assertion of the collective unconscious and existentialism, which emphasized the importance of the act of creating and not the finished product.
“Abstract expressionism was certainly all about the energy of action painting” says , using the term coined by critic Harold Rosenberg in 1952 to describe the immediacy of expression, made famous by Pollack and de Kooning. But Mary Ann was more enamored by the progenitors of simplified, large scale color dominated fields meant to be viewed in close environments where the work virtually enveloped the viewer confronting the work.
“I love the uniqueness, learning this new language of art and expressing the colors and shapes in my own individual way.” Mary Ann Flynn Fouse calls her half century body of work “splashy gestural coloramas”, signifying that her style marries Pollack and de Kooning with Motherwell and Rothko in moving textural dramas that are immediate but self- contained.
“I minimaliz any reference to natural phenomena seen or recalled from somewhere beyond the limits of the painting. There is a powerful visual excitement in each individual painting, or diptych, that depends for its hypnotic appeal on the gestures of the brush strokes, the hue, value, intensity of the colors, the broad range of textures, the size, position, proportion, and movement of the shapes.”
Her work expresses feelings that bind us together as humans."- excerpt from article written by Thomas Hall from his interview at the Sweet Art Gallery.
Golden Gates 60x48 acrylic on canvas
Our Little Paris, 40x50 oil on canvas
From The Heart, 48x60 oil on canvas
Life Is A Miracle And Champagne Sparkling Martini, 48x48 acrylic on canvas
Blue Bliss, 36x48 oil on canvas