Elaine Kurtz, Alluvial Series #9 (Celadon)
Kurtz built her alluvial paintings with natural materials, creating sculptural layers that evoke sedimentary and alluvial formations of earth. Flecks of bronze powder on the rough surface of this work sparkle, just as a subtle wash of green paint suggests a patina of age.
Born in Philadelphia, Kurtz graduated from the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (now the University of the Arts). She began her career as a freelance illustrator and package designer. She subsequently studied at the Barnes Foundation, and then at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC, where her instructors were the abstract painters of the Washington Color School.
Kurtz's earliest paintings are hard-edged, geometric abstractions in which she experimented with optical effects of shifting form, color, and light. In the late 1980s, Kurtz began creating abstract works that combine an evocation of atmosphere with the materiality of the earth. Kurtz taught at the Philadelphia College of Art and Moore College of Art & Design, and her work has been exhibited at numerous museums and galleries. In 2011, Woodmere organized a retrospective of her work.