Martha Diamond, American (1944 - )

 Often labeled as a Neo-Expressionist painter, Diamond is best known for cityscape abstractions in big, sweeping, gestural brush strokes. New York City is both her home and dominant art theme. Influenced by Japanese prints, Diamond often translates her work into print media. Her May 1996 visit to collaborate with Stewart & Stewart, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, resulted in four screenprint editions. Ms. Diamond's whole approach to painting is deceptively simple, full of hidden skills and decisions that only gradually reveal themselves, along with a good deal of humor and very little pretension.

Buildings float on a sky of ethereal blue marks, moving the light diagonally in Air, a four-color screenprint. Hudson Group, a five-color screenprint, alludes to the artist's memory of buildings near the Hudson River. In Towers, a one-color screenprint, the repetitive patterns of the architecture create a sense of rhythm. The viewer's eyes and mind can respond to the monumentality of the towers. Vignettes, also a one-color screenprint, at first glance, seems to diverge from Diamond's usual focus on human-made structures. However, the images are specific roofscapes in New York City. All, except the secret man taking photographs, are carvings of birds, cherubs, and figurative sculptures. Diamond's renewed interest in drawing led her to extend her imagery to the figurative architectural elements, to use them later in her paintings. When asked about the one-color screenprints, Diamond responds, "The viewer can't always tell what medium I've used. They could just as easily be paintings drawn with bamboo brushes and sumi ink."

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