Norris Embry

July , 1980 | Elizabeth Frank

Published in: 'Art in America' magazine

… Norris Embry displays his continuing mastery of 20th-century expressionist technique in nearly every permutation it can take. Like the German Expressionists themselves, Embry is obsessed by bizarre images at once tortured and poignant. His women, dogs, flowers and landscapes inhabit the world of aberration, memory, wish and fear familiar to us from Kokoschka, Nolde and Kirchner.

Unlike his forbears, however, Embry has been able to witness and understand the devolution of expressionist imagery into expressionist gesture, and in his figurative paintings and mixed-medium works on paper he reveals a rampant painterliness which takes its cues from American painterly abstraction at least as much as it does from the earlier German idiom. … [Embry’s paintings] remind us that art can come from the pit of the heart’s volcano.