Complementing the parallel exhibition of Wolf Kahn's work, Emily Mason's paintings bridge the movements of Color Field and Lyrical Abstraction. Mason's mother, Alice Trumbull Mason, was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists group. Through her mother, Mason enjoyed childhood encounters with artists Piet Mondrian and Joan Miró, exposing her to the vanguard of early abstract movements. Coming into her own in the 1950s, Mason ventured away from her early influences into her lyrical and fluid style, joining likeminded artists who filled their canvases with fields of color and abstract forms. Robert Berlind said of her in Art in America: "Mason works within the improvisational model of Abstract Expressionism, though notably without angst or bravado."
Born and raised in New York City, Mason studied at Bennington College and graduated from The Cooper Union School. In 1956, she received a Fulbright grant and spent two formative years in Italy where she studied at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Venice. Mason's first solo exhibition was in 1960 at the Area Gallery in New York City, after which she continued to exhibit frequently nationally and internationally. She was awarded the Ranger Fund Purchase Prize by the National Academy in 1979 and, for more than thirty years, has taught painting at Hunter College. Mason has enjoyed a distinctive and celebrated career, spanning the development of American Abstract painting. Her work is included in numerous public and private collections including the National Academy Museum, the New Britain Museum and the Springfield Museum.