Lois Tarlow

As The North River Meets the Sea

1975 Oil on canvas

Lois Tarlow forged her own path in the Boston art world, and left an indelible mark over the course of a seven-decade career.  Tarlow was in a continual process of reinvention, and had endless capacity for creative use of materials and interpretation of subject.  Her “material vocabulary,” a varied and exquisite use of materials across media, was the metaphorical thread to unite her work.  Her earliest paintings were brimming with psychological intensity, her landscapes were vibrant and tactile, and her later works on paper were studies in tonal gradations and subversive humor.  As The North River Meets the Sea represents a period of Tarlow’s work when she was moving away from the figure but retaining an element of representation, a transitional period that set the tone for later works.  The saltwater marshes of Marshfield, Massachusetts are recognizable in form, but Tarlow’s blue crescents and hot pink foliage are an homage to her love of abstraction and color, and her gift at conveying a sense of place.

Donated by the Fuller Craft Museum. Original Gift of Wendy Kaplan, Jane Tarlow, and Lisbeth Bernstein, 1986, 2018.4