Marsh Works Confront Fleeting Emotional Moments

Marsh Works Confront Fleeting Emotional Moments
"Hold Me/Save Me"  oil on canvas, 54" x 42" 1987

Marsh Works Confront Fleeting Emotional Moments
by David Bell
Albuquerque Journal North  Friday, November 24, 1989
Unbridled emotion is the stuff of oil paintings by Diane Marsh at the Center for Contemporary Arts.  Fear, sorrow, and melancholy mark the faces of her subjects, and yet the effect is uplifting.  Thats because the paintings honestly confront such feelings and thereby show that, for all their force, even painful emotions are transitory.
Marsh's style of paintings owes to the school of new realism,  which in turn derives partly from photography; but her stance as an artist is more passionate than one thinks of that school as being.  Rather than suspend her subjects in time, she treats them in the immediate, even at the risk of their seeming ephemeral.  Body gestures and facial expressions are by nature fleeting, and the viewer knows that what he sees before him could only have lasted for a few moments.
The power of the images comes from the fact that, even though they're transitory, they're explored in depth in the moment of their occurrence.  Nothing is held back, stylized or generalized.  The painter's eye goes into the subject's psyche.
Art like this might be labeled journalistic, or dismissed as a sort of pop realism, if it weren't for the fact it's executed impressively well.  That and the courage implicit in the artist's vision make the work memorable.