Label Text: Celebrated as major Puerto Rican Abstractionist, Albizu studied under famed New York Studio School founder and teacher, Esteban Vincente at the Universidad de Puerto Rico. Though he introduced his students to Modernism, he discouraged them from practicing beyond figurative or still life genres. From 1948 through 1951, Albizu studied with famed Abstract Expressionist, Hans Hoffman in New York. During this time, her works explored the modes of the moment: non-representational, flat angular forms. In 1951, during a period of study in France, the influences of abstraction lyrique—an art movement popular in France during the 1940s and 1950s that rejected geometric abstraction in favor of spontaneous brushwork and paint application from the tube onto the canvas—found its way into her paintings. The artist’s shift to intuitive, yet broad brush strokes, while continuing to incorporate abstracted geometrical shapes represent her most recognized style of painting.
In Untitled, viewers see the artist’s signature style of overlapping and jostling masses of rhythmic forms infused with jewel-like tones of blues, greens, blacks and reds that expand the canvas’s surface. This effect is what she called “a conversation between color and form.” Created during the height of a period when Albizu’s paintings graced jazz and classical music album covers released by RCA and Verve Records, the work radiates an energy that is cool and warm, animated and contemplative. It is a masterful demonstration of the artist’s ability to convey the restorative and formative powers of color, while also emphasizing the materiality of paint. Although completely abstract, Untitled perhaps evokes a place, a moment, or the liveliness of city life.