Lyric Collusion


Lyric Collusion


Alice Trumball Mason
American, 1904–1971




Alice Trumball Mason began her artistic training in a somewhat traditional manner, studying from 1924 to 1928 at the National Academy of Design in New York with American realist Charles Webster Hawthorne. A year later, however, her interests took a resolute turn toward nonconformity after taking classes at the Grand Central Art Galleries with modernist Arshile Gorky. She painted her first abstract painting that year, and remained dedicated to a nonobjective aesthetic throughout her career. During the 1930s, when Mason was one of only a handful of artists who practiced abstraction, her approach evolved from a painterly biomorphism to an austere geometric style, admittedly influenced by a growing interest in the works of Piet Mondrian, that would characterized her work for the next three decades.

While Mason sold few paintings in her lifetime, she had more success with her prints, especially after joining Atelier 17, which she attended between 1943 and 1947. Although printed two years after she left the workshop (in her own studio on a press borrowed from Letterio Calapai), Lyric Collusion, which matches a hefty grid of gauffrage against a delicate web of soft-ground etching, nonetheless retains much of the Atelier 17 character.


Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, Transfer from The Pennsylvania State University Libraries Print Collection




This image is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. Other uses are not permitted.


Soft-ground etching and gauffrage; plate: 9-13/16 x 7-3/4 in. (25 x 19.7 cm), sheet: 16-1/4 x 12-1/2 in. (41.2 x 31.9 cm)