The Transition Towards Abstraction

Ever searching for more effective means of expression, Anna E. Meltzer eventually found that the technique as well as the subject matter of realism was too constricting.The following description of the next phase of her work is excerpted from the review by Bess Barzansky.

Anna Meltzer continued searching for new ways to portray her new theories in art, which culminated in the second crescendo in a style called spectralism. This new approach used color swirling around the canvas, crossing and recrossing and building up in multitudinous ways the ideas expressed in her mind. Music still dominated the feeling and the backgrounds and figures were attuned to each other by the color. The well-known critic, Dorothy Grafly, says of this style as follows: "Some artists mature early, but do not grow. Their work today differs little from what they were producing ten or even twenty years ago. Such painters are easy to evaluate, and remain conveniently in a pigeonhole. But there are others who never stop growing. It is therefore doubly important in an era of snap judgments, to focus attention, not upon the latest creation of a particular painter, but upon the chain of circumstances, experiences and technical experiments that went into the making of her paintings. "Today, Anna E. Meltzer works towards an idea rather than the projection of facts. But her ability to do so has been a matter of evolution and is the result of hard work, and a mind open to suggestion and change."

Herman Reuter, an art critic for the Hollywood Citizens-News, described this phase of the work as follows. "A highly individual way of putting on paint borrowing something from the impressionist school, is a marked characteristic of a group of oils which Anna E. Meltzer is showing at the Francis Taylor Galleries, Beverly Hills Hotel.
"The technique, with all its multi-spottedness, nevertheless results in far greater richness and vibration of color than is found in most of the impressionist items. In addition it escapes their attenuated, misty effects.
"The emphasis is by no means exclusively on manipulation. On the contrary the Meltzer pieces show independence of viewpoint and thorough study of the requirements of real creativeness in painting." (Feb. 8, 1947)

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 Title and Date

Medium and Size






Oil 35 x 42

In this example of the utilization of an extensive color pallete which the artist called spectralism, the technique itself seems to move Anna E. Meltzer away from realism, towards the elusive goal which led eventually to abstraction.





Oil 13 x 18

  Chaos, and the following two paintings, were intended as an interpretation of the Biblical creation theme.





Oil 16 x 22

  The second in the "creation" series, this painting continues the emphasis on unexpected colors.


Adam and Eve



Oil 20 x 30

  The final in the depiction of the acts of creation, this painting returns to a hint of realism with its more subdued colors.





Oil 8 x 10

  With paint thickly applied with the pallet knife, there is more than a hint of impressionism here. Note the careful choice of a wide color pallette, with the aid of the method the artist termed spectralism.


 Fantasy Landscape



Oil 25 x 30

  Another example of the method the artist termed spectralism, this painting moves boldly away from our visible world toward an imaginary realm of striking colors and other-world forms.

Gallery I: An Emerging Realism

Gallery III: Prismatism Applied To Abstraction

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