“Beneath the Surface”
In 1943, at the age of fifteen, Abby Rubinstein began her studies at the art school of the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York. Having won a scholarship after her first year, she continued her studies with RufinoTomayo, Joseph Presser, George Pippin, Francis Chris and the water colorist John Bindrum.
Rubinstein refers to herself as an “American Expressionist”, and finds that if she needs a
“label”, it is with the philosophy of the early Expressionists that she holds the greatest affinity.
Dipping into the vast array of ideas, people, and vitality of her world, Abby seeks a configuration or movement, color or atmosphere that corresponds with her innermost emotions. She uses this as her vehicle, bending it and developing it until it speaks for her and meets others with whom it can have a conversation.
Rubinstein is interested in using nature, not copying it. The turn of a head, the wrinkle in a sleeve, the flip of a finger, the transition of a color to another can be unbelievably expressive of attitudes and emotions. She attempts to grasp these as she perceives them and brings them together into a moving and powerful work of art.
Rubinstein believes that a true work of art transcends time barriers and that an imitative
picture with nothing more exciting than correct proportions and acceptable composition will, in very short order, mean very little to anyone. But she thinks that a true work of art contains an indefinable element that touches a main spring of intuitive response within a viewer and affects a very intimate meeting. It’s that intimate meeting that she seeks when she paints.
Rubinstein believes that if she expresses herself adequately, the viewer is invited into the
painting. This is her purpose and if she is successful then it is her achievement.
The Journey Series
“We each have several facets to our personality. As we grow some of these facets become pronounced and give us an identifying persona, but sometimes the persona has within it contradictory elements. The child within us is playful, humorous, innocent, loving, energetic, or curious while we hold back and in our reserve sometimes miss the adventure of living. The Journey series addresses this duality. Sometimes the figure in white is led by the child in the red dress. Sometimes the child is directed by the more reserved figure in white. The more we are united with the child within, the more we are whole and the more meaningful our journey.”