Kerry Rowland-Avrech is a true American Painter. As an art historian, I find the strength in her art to be her great understanding of color field painting. Strangely enough, I believe that the champion of the field – Clement Greenberg – would have found her visual vibrance and understanding of abstract painting to be equally powerful as the color field painters of the sixties. Today, I think Greenberg would classify her as a great Post-Painterly Abstractionist, a term he used often in the sixties for that generation and for their successors.
The ephemeral dreaminess of her paintings seem to meet the line much like Morris Louis did, yet in a much more free and less controlled manner. Rowland-Avrech claims that the works of Georgia O’Keefe influenced her sense of the organic. Her jagged stepped colors almost make one feel that there is an inner light or flame within her paintings. Although considered one of the powerful female painters of Northern California, her voice is incredibly different in comparison to her contemporaries of the twenty-first century. This difference in voice takes its origin in her going back and really examining American Art. Further, she follows the footsteps of Jay DeFeo in her abstraction, yet she is DeFeo’s complete opposite in her understanding of color.
As an eminent contemporary female painter in California, Rowland-Avrech’s work shows a vast depth of understanding of American Art. As a California native from Venice Beach, she grew up with the culture of the sixties: civil rights, activism, abstractionism, and so much more. However, while the artists and movements from the sixties are the main influence for her work, her paintings address the viewer in a way that is deeply engrained in the present