THE 1960'S - THE PERIOD OF MAJOR POETICAL PAINTINGS
Having a Michael West work from the 1960's decade is like owning a piece of history. She has created gestural works related to world events including the Viet Nam War and the Kennedy Asassination. She has created Homages to people who were important to her such as Hans Hofmann and Frank O'Hara. Michael West loved film and has made it an important part of her work. Numerous oils are based on film such as Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, The Night of the Iguana, America America, Algeria, Chappaqua, Cocteau's Blood of A Poet, and Z, to name just a few. These are large and quite prominent Abstract Expressionist works. Her love of the film medium is partly due to the fact that her ex-husband, Francis Lee, was a major avant-garde filmaker. Lee was a combat photographer in WWII and was reknown for his film of the Normandy invasion. He was also on staff of Robert Motherwell's important publication of 1948, Possibilities. Francis Lee's films have been shown at MOMA and other film archives. He was a good friend of the exiled Surrealists and had the largest loft in Manhattan and hosted many parties for them while they were in NY City.
One of the most special aspects of West's paintings is the application of paint. Applied like a real maestro and thanks can be given to Richard Pousette-Dart, Arshile Gorky and Hans Hofmann. Please admire her bravado and almost unparalleled application of paint. As one critic noted, "West was no neophyte". Her truly Bohemian works are special on too many levels and these works should be in museums world-wide! However, most curator's are unfamiliar with her name or work. Do they get excited about a new discovery? Or do they enjoy showing the same old "established art"?
POETIC STRUCTURE DETAIL
POETIC STRUCTURE, 1960'S. 72" X 48".
Commanchi, 1960. 50x60.