4/2019 Mavis Pusey, Under-the-Radar Abstract Artist, Is Dead at 90 - The New York Times
Mavis Pusey, Under-‐‑the-‐‑Radar Abstract Artist, Is Dead at 90
She favored bold geometric forms, especially in works inspired by urban construction and demolition in New York City.
By Neil Genzlinger
April 30, 2019
(Excerpted from the full obituary)
Mavis Pusey, a painter and printmaker who drew on inspirations as varied as sunsets and scenes of urban demolition to create striking abstract works full of geometric forms, died on April 20 in Falmouth, Va. She was 90.
Hallie Ringle, curator of contemporary art at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama, who has been working n a traveling exhibition of Ms. Pusey’s work, confirmed her death. Pusey was a leading abstractionist who, while living in New York, made works that reflected the constantly hanging city landscape, giving them titles like “Broken Construction at Dusk” and “Demolishment.”
"I am inspired by the energy and the beat of the construction and demolition of these buildings,” she said in a statement, adding, “The tempo and movement mold into a synthesis and, for me, become another aesthetic of abstraction.”
Ms. Pusey's art was included in Contemporary Black Artists in America at The Whitney in 1971 and is in many museum collections including MOMA.
Born in Jamaica, she moved to New York City at a young age where she studied with, and became life long friends with, Will Barnet at The Art Students League. She also lived in London and Paris for years where she had her first solo exhibition, at the Galerie Louis Soulanges, in 1968.
After returning to New York City in the early 70's Pusey taught at several institutions, including Rutgers University, the New School and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Her special interest in printmaking was developed at Bob Blackburn's Workshop.
Forced to leave her Chelsea loft and studio in 1988, she moved to Virginia where she continued to teach and paint.