SAM THE BUTCHER contemporary art

Artist Statement



Georgette Osserman 2010

There is no distinction between an abstract painting and a non abstract painting. A painting is really a field of relations and what you look for is how these relations work.

– Francesco Clemente,

Photograph by Tim Porter  

These new paintings are a return to a more organic style with references to the geometries developed in recent landscapes. The combination of patterning with the addition of pure forms allows color and rhythm while giving the viewer some areas of familiarity.

I am interested in relationships of all kinds. Between people, architecture, color and form. How things relate is always compelling. Many studio hours are spent considering, within the picture plane, the effects objects and colors have on each other.

The final and maybe most compelling area of my interest is closure, psychological as well as physical. I am drawn to art for its ability to act as a bridge between myself and the viewer. In these complex times with so little under our control, it is a pure pleasure to create something by hand which has a beginning, middle, and definable end.

— Georgette Osserman

Georgette Osserman was born in 1950 and raised in New York. She grew up surrounded by the excitement and fast pace of Manhattan. Her parents, who both adored the arts, took her to theaters, museums, and concerts. In her youth she studied dance and showed an early facility for color and design. This energy has carried through to her style of painting. Influenced by action painting, surrealism and automaticism, she developed a style which echoes both the action painters of the 1950s, exemplified by Jackson Pollock, and the innovative colorists, exemplified by Milton Avery.

She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology graduating with honors from Southampton College. While there she also studied sculpture with Peter Lipman Wolf whose sculpture adorned the MOMA garden for many years. After moving on to photography and exhibiting at the college, she was accepted at the University of Southern California graduate program in film. At that time she was one of only six women in a department of four hundred men.

Disheartened by what she saw as Hollywood's old boys' club, she and a friend turned their attentions to clothing design. Their company, "georgette," began on a shoestring budget of 500 dollars and soon caught the attention of buyers across the country. In New York their clothes were exhibited in the Fifth Avenue windows of Bergdorf Goodman, and Elizabeth Arden, and appeared in the editorial pages of Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Mademoiselle, California Apparel and Women's Wear Daily. Though only in their 20's, Ms. Osserman and Mr. Brown achieved what many in the fashion industry had strived for all their lives.

They parted ways in 1979 and Ms. Osserman worked as the assistant to the Director at Rancho la Puerta, a fitness resort and spa in Tecate, Mexico. It gave her a chance to reexamine her life and decide on the next chapter. In 1983, while running a fitness studio in Pacific Heights, she decided to resume her passion for the arts and enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute. She was accepted to their graduate program and attended both the San Francisco Art Institute and later the California College of the Arts. She subsequently was invited to study with Christopher Brown and Wayne Thiebaud.

Ms. Osserman has been teaching in Marin and across the country for the past 25 years. She was recently a guest instructor for the Drake and Redwood High School advanced placement art classes, and created a workshop for art teachers in Marin. Along with teaching, she has gained the respect of her fellow artists by curating and judging competitions, like the prestigious Sausalito Art Festival and The Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival.

In 2006, her work was selected for the opening exhibition at the new Sam the Butcher Contemporary Art Gallery in Ross, California. In 2009, she had a show at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. Ms. Osserman continues to exhibit her work in California and galleries across the country.