Florence Putterman uses imagery like a typesetter uses letters…imprinting her canvases with marks that create a language of fantasy, emotion and wonder. Often applying sand and crushed shells to her canvas before painting, she allows these forms to lead her to the creatures and shapes that follow.
Following the receipt of an NEA grant to explore and study the prehistoric symbolism of our ancient civilizations, Florence began to develop her own symbolism. Her whimsical creatures of frolicking elephants, playful dogs and cats, colorful serpents and tropical birds combine with abstract marks, lines and curves and levitating figures reminiscent of Chagall or Miro to build a narrative of images that dance magically across her canvases. Her collages are composed of found objects, hand-made papers and Putterman’s great interest in giving discarded items a new life and meaning. Her colors are earthy, pungent and bold; and her use of sand and crushed shells makes a crackled texture surface that further intrigues the eye.
Although she considers herself a late-bloomer in the field of art, Florence has proven herself more than serious about what she does. Having received a M.F.A. from Penn State University and then fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Florence has continued to exhibit extensively throughout the U.S. with literally hundreds of solo and group exhibitions. She has received numerous awards and is featured in the collections of such notables as the Metropolitan Museum of New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Grand Rapids Museum of Fine Art, Chicago Art Institute, Portland Museum of Art and many, many others. She has been a teacher, juror, mentor and an inspiration to those who have been fortunate to experience her zest for life and her love of art.
Florence divides her time between homes in central Pennsylvania and southern Florida, and her works are exhibited extensively throughout the U.S.