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Marlene Housner: artStudio

News Release (Foxboro, Mass.): March 2002

Housner did graduate and undergraduate studies in art at Hunter College in New York City with William Baziotes, Ray Parker, Gabor Peterdi, Richard Lippold, Ponce de Leon, Eugene Goosen and William Rubin. She recalled in a recently published interview, "I thrived, lived and grew in the pioneering loft decade of the '60s in New York City: the time of Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns parties, Oldenburg's store, Kaprow's happenings, Merce Cunningham/John Cage collaborations with emerging artists like Warhol, Judson Hall Friday night concerts/frontiers of Twyla Tharp, Yvonne Rainier, Trisha Brown performance art and dance events. One's Art was the way of life."

She taught art and worked in set and costume design/construction in the city through that period, and continued to teach art in northwestern Massachusetts upon relocating to Heath, Mass., in the early 1970s.

Her two decades-plus there represented a prolific period of ten of the 21 exhibitions of her works to date, as well as independent studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with John Grillo. She also enjoyed the chance to return the favor as program director for the university's Arts Council, dispensing grants to projects in various arts for several years in the 1990s.

For the last five years, Housner enjoyed a new period of inspired productivity in the American Southwest, as different as her studio work in Europe and Mexico early in her career. "My work had been much more minimal, less layered or textured," Housner noted in an interview appearing in the Amherst (Mass.) Bulletin following one of the Southwest trips that inspired her original relocation to Roswell, N.M.

In the Southwest, "It's the surprises that happen, that you get hit with. It's this-worldly, but other-worldly," said Housner. "The sun sets, and everything starts to glow."

In her recent return to set up studio and home back in New England, she reflects upon comforting shelter and the security of being home with her muse on Eastern shores. The most recent exhibits of her celebrated works in Durango, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico, entitled Aerial Tableaus, a series of 4 square quartets created in Roswell, "look like a survey of a landscape undefined yet hauntingly familiar." Reviewed in the Durango Herald, "the works present the viewer with a confident vision by a consummate artist." The quartets were exhibited at St.Johns University, Queens, NY in April/May 2001 and at Copper Canyon, Colorado, that September. A New England sequel to Aerial Tableaus is anticipated; works are in progress in Housner's Foxboro studio.

Credentials are not her main motivation, though. "It's the process that's so exciting for me. It's something that you yearn to do all the time," she said. "The ultimate balance of romanticism and realism...that is my pursuit."