American born artist Rose Masterpol has worked for decades as a contemporary abstract painter. Her work is distinctive and ever-evolving because of her vast array of interests - her poetry, music, graphic design, sculpture, and landscape photography. They all feed her creativity. Masterpol’s work is the language of non-objective, organic and pure painting. Her work consists of abstract shapes, lines, instinct, and intuition made from either acrylic or oil on large canvases. She is larger than life as are her works. Often poetic with unrivaled breadth and depth, always strong and boldly colored—the work is uncanny and balanced. Her technical approach changes to the mood and flow of the next thing that emerges on a new canvas at any given time. Her abstractions stream from De Stijl to Fauvism to expressionism to the pure abstract realm. Masterpol’s inspiration since a child has been from the New York school of painters, Pollock, de Kooning, Kline and Motherwell, to name a few.
Masterpol is self-taught which lends to a naked and raw untainted work of art. There are no limitations for her work to constantly progress. She graduated from CalArts with a BFA in graphic design and has worked in many ad agencies in Los Angeles. Still today, ranking as a creative director to a few clients, she is working as a full-time painter. And—in between design and painting, she always has a camera in her hands ready for the next great shot.
For more information visit masterpol.com.
ROSE MASTERPOL: DOUBLE STYLE
By Peter Frank
In her work of the past three years Rose Masterpol has been oscillating between a drawn line, animated by color as well as its own flagellating trail, and a more painterly stroke that provides given expanses with texture as well as hue. The drawn line assumes a rhythmic animation akin to graffiti writing and on occasion even cartoon caricature, seeming almost choreographed. Here Masterpol, deliberately or not, proposes a translation of hip-hop and other urban dance into non-objective painting, perhaps even a kind of notation; certainly, she is re-purposing the energy of the “street” to painterly effect.
That level of energy carries over into Masterpol’s larger, even more ambitious canvases; but in these, she puts aside the self-conscious project of contemporary reflection and allows herself the luxury of pure painting. If the “drawn” paintings manifest a vigorous but studied response to pop culture, the “painted” paintings embody Masterpol’s equally fervent but entirely spontaneous response to artists who have come before her. She cites Joan Mitchell, Pollock, Picasso, De Kooning, Kline, and Motherwell as models, and their influence is readily apparent. Masterpol recapitulates that influence with remarkable intelligence and sensitivity: these are genuine, unabashed Abstract Expressionist works right down to their Surrealist reliance on the impulsive mark and their Cubist articulation of space.
The irony is that Masterpol’s more “historic” painting is, if anything, less studied than her more “contemporary” work. When she responds to the bold moves and bright contrasts of today’s pop idioms she picks up on their stylizations no less than on their power; she reflects the fact that, even while they depend on boundless invention, the popular arts allow their artists limited freedom. Like any good pop artist, Masterpol capitalizes on such restraint by playing off it, letting restricted modality amplify her inventiveness.
For truly liberated painting, however, she turns to a tradition of liberty that she can only inherit from fellow painters. In this regard, Masterpol proceeds in the wake of her influences with voluble confidence, studying and “feeling” rather than simply imitating their imagery or their method. Indeed, she comprehends the examples of De Kooning, Picasso, et al, as just that – examples of spirit, more important to her for their attitude than for their manner. She has learned from them, for instance, to pace herself across a visual field – but the pace she maintains is entirely her own. She has learned to segue strategically from color to color rather than simply dump paint in various areas – but the colors result from her own perception, and her segues embody her own sensibility. With every lesson learned, Masterpol finds herself more profoundly as a painter.
Rose Masterpol would seem to be two painters in one. In fact, she is one painter paying attention to two modes of expression. Both those modes are urgent and convincing, and she responds to both with insight, conviction, and unmistakable personality. Those two modes would seem to have little to say to each other; but, like someone brought up bi-lingually, Masterpol speaks both with poetic fluency and effortless translation, finding – and building – vivid connections between them.
Los Angeles/December 2013
I work in a series format which allows myself and the work to progress and never stop evolving. Working the way I do is an alleyway to explore all the abstractions without limitations. My influences are nature, sound and truth which alter me and in turn alter the work in many ways I cannot explain. I literally use a jumping-off-a-bridge into the abyss modus. In there I compose, allow, surrender and give birth to something unsuspecting. I relinquish thought so something else can emerge, something unexplainable. The stuff in—between existence and non-existence is my playground. I exploit myself to gain access to unearthly realms of the unseen and the unknown through my human experiences. Because I am highly sensitive, vulnerable and intuitive, I am vastly open to possibilities that are not otherwise present or available. Since I can remember, I have had a demanding drive to create... it is a true reflection of who I am, inside—out. In the end, the result/work is a self-actualized breathing entity, which is a part of the whole (body of work), kind of like how the universe works.
NEW YORK CITY
35 N. Moore street
New York, New York
Artful Sol Gallery
183 Gore Creek Dr. Suite 6
Vail, Colorado, 81657
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Glave Kocen Gallery
1620 West Main Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Buckhead Art & Company