Theme/Style – California Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Symbolism, Modernism, figurative art, portraits, still lifes
Media – Oils, murals, watercolors, lithographs
Artistic Focus – Mabel Alvarez enjoyed a six-decade career of artistic exploration. Her work is known for its use of high-key color and atmospheric effects reminiscent of traditional Impressionism, as well as for its careful rendering of figures, keen focus and economy of design. Much of Alvarez’ work focuses on themes of youth, growth and regeneration. By carefully selecting colors for their psychological impact, and by incorporating images of women and flowers into many of her canvases, she succeeded in expressing emotion through her art rather than simply offering visual representations of people and places.
Career Highlights –
- Born at Wailua, Oahu, Hawaii, in 1891, Mabel Alvarez settled in Los Angeles in 1906, where she later would study with, among others, Synchromist painters Stanton Macdonald Wright and Morgan Russell.
- Recognized early in her career, Alvarez was one of just three Southern California artists mentioned, along with Conrad Buff and Clarence Hinkle, in the 1934 publication, Art In America: In Modern Times.
- As she progressed in her career, Alvarez’ palette became in certain respects brighter, but also less exacting and more abstract.
- Alvarez’ works have been widely exhibited at sites including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and its predecessor institutions, the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles.
- Mabel Alvarez passed away in Los Angeles in 1985.