Westport artist Rosalyn A. Engelman exhibits at Fairfield University's Thomas A. Walsh Art Gallery


The luminous works of Westport artist Rosalyn A. Engelman, whose strong brushstrokes evoke abstract landscapes, seasons and historical events, will be on display from Sunday, June 15, through Sunday, Aug. 10, at Fairfield University's Thomas A. Walsh Art Gallery. Engelman will do an informal walk through of the exhibit during the opening reception on June 15 from 4 to 6 p.m.

"Crescendo Works by Rosalyn A. Engelman" will offer a look at some of the artist's most recent pieces, which are often inspired by her recollections of places she's visited, Biblical scenes and moments in time. Building on her love of rhapsodic music, calligraphy and haiku, the paintings offer a glimpse of imagined space and mood.

Engelman began painting in the 1980s and has built a large body of work over the years. Many of her earlier works are responses to sociopolitical events involving people in Europe and Africa. Her distinctive painterly style has evolved, becoming less representational as her themes began to center on her personal experiences and attendant feelings.

The pieces in the exhibition are all relatively new and firmly rooted in the basic tenets of her medium. Many show Engelman's interest in juxtaposition of color and the deliberate strokes she creates with a lushly loaded brush to collapse a three-dimensional idea onto her two-dimensional canvas.

Engelman does not set out to paint a scene, but rather an understanding of a given space, centering on its unique light or a preponderance of shades of one color. A fan of the French masters of the turn of the century, including Pierre Bonnard and Eduard Vuillard, she often employs an abundance of shimmering hues and repetitive patterns when constructing her own paintings.

The French countryside has been a major influence on Engelman's work. Her "Poem of Provence" pulsates with the imaginary light, movement and vibrant orange and red hues that evoke the pastoral setting. She uses a similarly intense light in "Cicadas of Autumn," which brings to mind the unmistakable sounds of summer and the melancholy of passing time.

Engelman has taken Biblical passages as her inspiration for "Cast Thy Bread Upon the Waters" and "Wither Thou Goest." Both seek to show that the wisdom behind action and conduct is far more important than worldly possessions.

Engelman's work will be on view at the Walsh Gallery Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call (203) 254-4010, ext. 2969.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 13, 2003

Vol. 35, No. 294