Elizabeth Gilfilen: Pugilist painter

 Elizabeth Gilfilen, Untitled, 2011, oil on canvas, 76 x 65 inches.

For Elizabeth Gilfilen painting is a collision, an aggressive search in which the object and maker are intimately, irrovocably entwined. Gilfilen’s exploration of piercing color and gestural abstraction continues in her exhibition of new large-scale work at Gallery Aferro this month. In many of her untitled paintings (sorry I can’t refer to specific ones) Gilfilen wrestles images from a thicker scrum of agitated brushwork than in previous work, but in other less vigorously-worked paintings like “Sit” and “Cricket Fix” a more relaxed direction emerges. Gilfilen is the opposite of a casualist–clearly she likes a good skirmish–and her new paintings look terrific–bolder and more challenging than earlier work. “Two Moons,” the title of the exhibition, refers to recent evidence that the earth used to have two orbiting masses which eventually became unstable and merged into one.

But I imagine they didn’t go without a long and interesting struggle.

Elizabeth Gilfilen, “Sit,” 2011, oil on canvas, 37 x 31.25 inches.
Elizabeth Gilfilen, Untitled, 2011, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches.
Elizabeth Gilfilen, Untitled, 2011, oil on canvas, 78 x 64 inches.
Elizabeth Gilfilen, “Hive Mind,” 2011, oil on canvas, 72 x 65 inches. 
Elizabeth Gilfilen, Untitled, 2011, oil on canvas, 28 x 19.5 inches. 
Elizabeth Gilfilen, “Cricket Fix,” 2011, oil on canvas, 43 x 34 inches.

Elizabeth Gilfilen: Two Moons,” Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ. Through December 17, 2011.


  1. Love her work Sharon. Thanks very much for posting!

  2. Great post – I really like the slightly smaller paintings 'Sit' & 'Cricket fix'

  3. Drawing lines in paint … I wish I could see this art in person (we live in California!) … I like her energy and fearlessness … fine, fine work!

  4. Beautiful work – always great to discover a (for me) new artist.

  5. Great to see. terry Greene suggested I check out this work. I was trained in abstract expressionism and am now back painting – interested in the new painters and what is happening.

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