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Untitled (Wave and Spray)

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Constance Fowler moved from the coast to Salem in the 1980s and continued to work as an artist. She suffered a debilitating stroke in 1993, but earlier that year was working on this large, thinly painted abstraction of ocean waves and spray that brings the viewer dangerously close to the surging water that seems to flow into our space. This work, which Fowler considered unfinished, reflects her interest in the painting process itself and the tendencies of paint to flow, drip, and splatter. Working with these qualities related her to Abstract Expressionism and its derivations, which dominated American modernism in the second half of the twentieth century.