Alice Trumbull Mason, a Pioneer of Abstraction, Makes a Triumphant Return

Alice Trumbull Mason, “Untitled” (1939), oil on canvas, 20 x 46 inches (all images copyright Alice Trumbull Mason/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and courtesy Washburn Gallery, NY, unless otherwise stated; photo by Gavin Ashworth)

According to a recent New York Times article by Lauren Christensen, art books are newly essential: “No longer just gift shop purchases or collectors’ coffee-table adornments, these exhibition catalogs are now the only tickets we have.” As days tick into months during this latest, ongoing pandemic, this feels ever more true. Even with so much art available virtually, books offer context, breadth and, in the case of Alice Trumbull Mason: Pioneer of American Abstraction (Rizzoli Electa, 2020), over 200 color reproductions of the artist’s paintings, along with exceptional prints, letters, photographs, and poetry. (Full disclosure, it also features essays on her work by writers who include two Hyperallergic editors, Elisa Wouk Almino and Thomas Micchelli.)

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