January , 1982 | Thomas M. Messer
Director, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
From a statement accompanying a gallery exhibition in New York
Those who have viewed Norris Embry’s work during his lifetime were, I believe, unanimously drawn to his expressionist origins. They rightly sensed in the American’s art a certain kinship with the spiritual quality of a Nolde, the uninhibited force of Norris’ teacher, Kokozschka, and the seemingly formless Art Brut of Jean Dubuffet.
...It may, however, be worth pointing out that Norris represented a generation different from these, and that he created within another context so that expressionism, in his hands, meant something else, appearance notwithstanding. … At this moment when a figuratve expressionist mode again engages the attention of a younger generation of painters it may therefore be more appropriate to perceive Norris Embry’s legacy as one in which a new sensibility has taken shape long before it became commonplace.