Mavis Pusey, was a a painter and printmaker who centered urban landscapes in abstract geometric forms.
One of Ms. Pusey’s first major showings was part of “Contemporary Black Artists in America,” an important exhibition mounted by the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1971. Almost a half-century later she was again part of a major exhibition, “Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today,” at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo (NYT). Although a leading abstract artist, with immense technical skills and intellectual thought, Pusey's name was less known even amongst her peers in the art world because she was Black and woman. Written in the 1980's, a wishlist written by Pusey read: “I want to make enough money to live on, through my art.” Unfortunately, this did not happen in her lifetime due to inequity.
Mavis Pusey began her studies in the Arts Students League in New York. Originally studying fashion she switched her interest to printmaking, studying with Will Barnet at the League.
Further studies took her to London, where she worked at the Birgit Schold Workshop, then back to New York and finally to Virginia, where she received her B.A. at Mary Baldwin College. Between 1969 and 1972 she worked at the Robert Blackburn Workshop and later at the New School for Social Research in New York. She exhibited with Louis Soulanges in Paris, Curwen Gallery in London and AAA in New York.
Her art has been exhibited internationally in galleries, collections, and in solo and group exhibitions. She has taught at various educational institutions, including the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Drew University, New Jersey, and the New School for Social Research, New York, among others.