Charlotte Park works on paper exhibited in Chelsea

Charlotte Park, Untitled, c. 1959 Gouache on paper 11 3/4 x 14 1/4 in (29.8 x 36.2 cm). © James and Charlotte Brooks Foundation. (Courtesy of Berry Campbell, New York).

Chelsea’s Berry Campbell Gallery presents ‘Charlotte Park: Works on Paper from the 1950s’, a collection of works by the critically acclaimed Abstract Expressionist artist.

Contemporary and close friend of Jackson Pollack and Lee Krasner, Charlotte Park studied at the Yale School of Art. She graduated in 1939 but did not begin her artistic career until after the end of the Second World War. Park began to experiment with form by painting variations of geometric shapes which she described in black, white and gray, connecting them like pieces of a puzzle.

Charlotte Park, Untitled (Black and Gray III), c. 1950 Ink on cardboard 8 3/16 x 11 1/16 in (20.8 x 28.1 cm). © James and Charlotte Brooks Foundation. (Courtesy of Berry Campbell, New York).

One of the works, “Untitled (Black and Gray III)”, is filled with a light brown color that consumes most of the room when engaging with black. What seems to be the central focus of the paintings is the depiction of a figure with the body of a human child and the head of a lion cub. The young creature looks innocent and childlike as he stands slightly to the side with his head tilted as he gazes at the viewer as if lost, worried and seeking help. Fine black brushstrokes form his mouth; his expression is sad, with black paint dripping from his eyes. In his arms raised slightly to the side, he holds a stuffed animal that looks like a giraffe.


WHAT: Charlotte Park: Works on Paper from the 1950s

WHEN: March 17 to April 23, 2022

WHERE: Berry Campbell Gallery, 530 West 24th St, NYC. The gallery is open Tues.—Sat. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Charlotte Park, Untitled, c. 1959 Acrylic and oil pencil on paper 10 x 14 in (25.4 x 35.6 cm). © James and Charlotte Brooks Foundation. (Courtesy of Berry Campbell, New York).

In the mid-1950s, Park began using a wide range of colors: bright and bold, pastel and dark. One of Park’s color paintings is a cheerful mixture of many unusual colors and shapes captured in different ways which she combines in perfect harmony. The dominant colors are red-orange, white and forest green. The orange-red comes in a form resembling a large bird with voluminous feathers puffing out its chest. Near the center of the painting is a cluster of light pink that closely resembles the shape of a rose. The other colors in the chart are Dandelion Yellow, Periwinkle Blue, Sky Blue, and Violet Violet.

Charlotte Park, Untitled, c. 1959 Gouache on paper 11 3/4 x 14 1/4 in (29.8 x 36.2 cm). © James and Charlotte Brooks Foundation. (Courtesy of Berry Campbell, New York).

Another of Park’s color paintings appears to be an image of a large four-legged animal lying in wait. It’s hard to tell precisely what type of animal it is, and it may be a figment of Park’s imagination. The animal’s body includes a dynamic array of shapes and colors, including purple, red, white, and pink. The head resembles a hippopotamus and is depicted in a rose-pink color with a curvy yellow-orange shape of the nose and mouth.

Charlotte Park’s work has only recently received the recognition it deserves, over the past decade. She was married to the best known abstract expressionist artist James Brooks who inspired and supported her work. Both have lived and worked most of their lives in the East End of Long Island.

Alison Martin

Alison Martin is a lifelong resident of New York City and can be found exploring the latest exhibits in the city’s many museums, galleries and other art-related venues.

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