Artist Adele LeBourgeois Alsop, 73, died peacefully at her home in Castle Valley, Utah, on Sept. 4.
Adele grew up in Stockbridge and New York City in the 1960s and attended the School of Fine Arts at Boston University. Adele served in Brazil for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer with her first husband, Philip Maechling. She returned to the United States with a painting in her suitcase, which she unpacked for a last-minute interview with Neil Welliver, chairman of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Arts. He accepted her on the spot.
In 1975, Adele married landscape painter, Michael Eisenman. Their son, Basil, was born in 1979. Both were part of the downtown New York art scene, exhibiting in Tribeca and commuting to paint in the Berkshires. Delly, Mike and Basil would arrive in “Big Red,” a four-wheel-drive International Harvester pick-up truck that had survived parking on the city streets. Often they could be seen painting at dusk on the Cobble in Tyringham, Massachusetts, or racing a rain squall in Stockbridge.
“Of the artists working in the painterly realist tradition of Fairfield Porter, Neil Welliver, and Jane Freilicher,” said writer Jaime Manrique, “Alsop stood out for her burning engagement with her subject matter and a throbbing physicality in her brush strokes that reminded me of de Kooning. Her paintings had the power to exalt and unsettle at the same time.”
“Big Red” also took Delly, Mike and Basil to their first painting base in the west: a trailer park in Moab. In 1984, Michael Eisenman died. Adele and Basil moved permanently west, settling in Castle Valley. Adele, surrounded by her dogs, horses, roses and orchard, painted the west and exhibited in one-person shows over twenty-five years at David Findley Gallery, Schmidt-Bingham Gallery, and Alexander Gallery in New York City.
“The loose, expressive brush strokes of Adele Alsop, a transplanted New Englander living in Utah, conjure up vivid, lush landscapes and still lifes that radiate energy,” said Grace Glueck in The New York Times, in 2002.
Adele Alsop is survived by her son, Basil Alsop Eisenman of Castle Valley; her beloved companion, Damian Bollerman, of Castle Valley; her parents, Robert Chapin Alsop and Helen Suzette Alsop of Tyringham, Massachusetts; her two sisters, Suzette Jones of Easthampton, Massachusetts, and Christina Pierce of Montgomery, Massachusetts; her brother, Denny Alsop of Stockbridge, Massachusetts; and by eight nieces and nephews.