The Philosopher's Stone
Acrylic on Paper
17 x 22 inches
Signed Lower Left
A discussion of the abstract expressionist movement in the Cincinnati, Ohio art community would not be complete without the work of Rosemary Burkholder (1921-2001). Along witrh Meanwell, Rosemary Burkholder's work completes the story of the development of abstract expressionism in the Midwest.
Burkholder's extensive body of work evolved throughout her lifetime. She started her career sketching women's clothing ads for local department stores (Gidding, McAlpin's) after training in commercial art. From 1946 to 1963 she studied with Chidlaw at the Cincinnati Art Academy, earning a certificate and numerous honors for her work from 1946 to 1963. She developed into a prolific artist, working in watercolors, oils and acrylics. She painted for six decades, with both Chidlaw and Meanwell throughout.
While influenced by Chidlaw to some degree, Burkholder's ever evolving style was freer and more colorful than that of the father of the Cincinnati abstract expressionist movement. Her paintings in the 1960s and 70s show late impressionistic tendencies (Monet, Degas). In the 1970s and early 80s the cubist influence appeared and from the late 80s to 2000 Burkholder developed her personal brand of late expressionism.
During an era when many professional women found it difficult to reach their goals, Burkholder reached her full potential as an artist. Her work reflects a more spiritually positive expression of the abstract expressionist movement in her place and time.