Roberta Eisenberg was a force in the SoCal art world until her untimely passing in 2006. This current exhibition of her work, including several canvasses of eight or more feet in width and a number of smaller ones, fill both floors of this 8,000 square foot gallery. The paintings express the artist’s allegiance to her art school mentors, especially to Louis Finkelstein, a second-generation abstract expressionist who was known for his painterly style and lavish application of color. With Finkelstein’s hands-on influence, along with her study of earlier artists such as Arshile Gorky and Philip Guston, Eisenberg created a large body of work.
When she moved to Orange County in 1978, the influence of the natural world, filtered through her interior world became more prevalent in her work. She wrote, “The space of the canvas serves as a membrane, where the forms are in a state of metamorphosis, seemingly with a will of their own.” “Pentimento" (1999) is an intensely worked interior landscape with bright yellows and greens influenced by the natural landscape. “New Paths” (2004), painted after her cancer diagnosis, has similar interior/exterior landscape features, but includes hints of human figures. These figures express her connections with family members, her memories and her hopes for healing.