This Master Series celebrates the work of beloved Worcester artist, Terri Priest (1928-2014). It highlights her painting Static Variations: Blue x 2 (1971-72), a diptych of arrow-shaped fields of blue and alternating black and white stripes, which together create a pulsating visual effect. In its rigorous exploration of optical stimuli, the painting appears to have much in common with Op Art, yet Priest refused her contemporaries’ rejection of content for form. Instead, she saw her artwork as deeply connected to larger social issues. Priest was active in the Civil Rights movement, and paintings such as Static Variations: Blue x 2 emerged from her activism: “My works are politically motivated—that’s not an overstatement,” she explained. “For every white line there was a black line. One plus one is equal to more than two.”
Image: Terri Priest, Static Variations: Blue x 2, 1971-1972, acrylic on canvas, Helen Sagoff Slosberg Fund, 2014.1192 © Estate of Terri Priest, used with permission.
BIO: Roger Dunn
Roger Dunn, Professor Emeritus, Bridgewater State University