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Charlotte Park
Summer MacDowell
oil on canvas
Canvas: 16 × 20 inches (40.6 × 50.8 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Dwight and Susie Emanuelson.Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Dwight H. Emanuelson.
Accession Number
A graduate of the Yale School of Fine Art in Connecticut, Charlotte Park evolved a singular vocabulary of emblematic shapes set within a gestural, abstract expressionist style, producing animated works that occasionally evoke nature.
Unfortunately, Parks important contribution to the Abstract Expressionist movement during its early years has only recently been acknowledged, a scenario shared by many women artists working in midcentury American abstraction. Overshadowed by the attention given to the work of her husband, James Brooks, Park kept a low profile over the course of her career, while painting some the strongest and most brilliantly colored canvases of her time. Her art is a strong case against the idea prevalent from the 1950s onward that women were incapable of the muscularity and confidence necessary to be action painters.
Park and Brooks were neighbors and friends of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in East Hampton.