1938 - 2009
Roberta Meyerson’s work reflects her life-long interest in pattern, texture and narrative expressed through the painting of portraits even though her formal education in the arts was in New York City during the dominance of the abstract expressionists. During that time she studied with Raphael Soyer, Jules Olitsky, Philip Guston, Ad Rheinhardt and James Ernst. Despite her study of abstract expressionism, Meyerson was unable to resist the lure of the narrative in her own work.
For Meyerson the narrative and the aesthetic were one and the challenge of making them work together yielded the art. Her portraits of individuals are mostly, but not exclusively, of women. To portray their look, attitude, manner or feelings, Meyerson affixed to her canvas a variety of materials such as fabric, notions, jewelry and other found objects to create a surface upon which she painted, using acrylics, oils and oil sticks. When her subject matter went beyond the individual portrait, Meyerson’s work was frequently peopled with many individuals - a crowd interacting on Queens Boulevard, a street fair in Manhattan, a tag sale in upstate New York, where she lived for the last years of her life, on the streets or in the parks of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, in her own home or in her imagination.
The people in her paintings are derived from both direct observation and her memories formed from a lifetime of people watching. Meyerson liked the people in her paintings and felt empathy for them as they went about their daily activities. All of them are informed in some way by her own life experiences.
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