Elizabeth Gourlay: Eclectic Threads

Elizabeth Gourlay, "T orange 2," 2018, acrylic on canvas, 40” x 40", Courtesy of the Artist
 Elizabeth Gourlay, "T orange 2," 2018, acrylic on canvas, 40” x 40", Courtesy of the Artist,


Elizabeth Gourlay: Eclectic Threads

This fall, the NBMAA will launch its newest series of exhibitions in our recently restored Landers House, highlighting local artists that contribute invaluably to the cultural enrichment of our region and beyond. We are thrilled to welcome Chester-based artist Elizabeth Gourlay in her first solo exhibition at the Museum, entitled Elizabeth Gourlay: Eclectic Threads.

Artist’s Statement

"This group of collages and paintings spans from 2011 to the present and shows my continued studio exploration of color and form. My collages are created from found and painted paper pieces, cut and arranged in playful, ordered, or chaotic ways. The works are the starting point for gouache paintings and larger works which evolve gradually as I work with changes in scale, color, light, and shape.

I recognize many influences to my visual thinking. I can sense some from the house I grew up in, designed by my father, and in turn with influences ranging from Japanese design to the Bauhaus. His was a unique style that included white stucco exterior walls with broken symmetry in window shapes and rooflines. His open interior spaces held elegant geometries often punctuated by dark wood trim. My mother, an interior designer, has also been a strong influence with her masterful use of color and love of fabric and textiles. My parents often collaborated, and I was introduced through them, to many dynamic, poppy colors, and designs of the 1960’s, in addition to the subtle rich and harmonic colors of Jack Lenor Larsen’s fabric.

Similar early influences have come from studying artists, architecture, and textiles from different cultures, including the work of Anni Albers and Paul Klee. There is a continuous and eclectic threading of ideas, in this body of work that reflects these interests and the explorations of my vocabulary of bars, lines, colors, and shapes. It is my hope that these forms and colors evoke the emotional and the aesthetic threads and that they present the viewer with an opening to a cultural but also a personal and purely abstract experience."

Click here to read a selection of poems that accompany the paintings in the exhibition—written by Elizabeth Gourlay's husband, Matthew Griffiths.


Related Programing 

Artist Talk | Elizabeth Gourlay
Thursday, November 10, 6 p.m.

Featured Press

New Britain Museum of American Art to feature Cheshire artist in latest exhibit
By Ciara Hooks, New Britain Herald, October 3, 2022