The first comprehensive presentation of Emily Mason's work, this volume brings long-overdue attention to the nearly fifty-year career of this contemporary American artist. Grounded in the early influence of late 1940s and 1950s Abstract Expressionism, Mason's ongoing exploration of the expressive possibilities of abstraction has produced paintings of a broad emotional range. The artist's work is driven, above all, by color. Her combinations of raucous, vibrant hues and her masterful tonal calibrations imbue her canvases with mysterious luminosity. Also carefully calibrated are Mason's compositions-structures that delicately balance spontaneity and control, impulse and restraint. To achieve such harmonies of color and composition, Mason relies on an intuitive approach. She comes to each canvas free from intention and open to chance, allowing the process of painting to guide the evolution of each painting. Emily Mason: The Fifth Element includes eighty reproductions of the artist's oil paintings, along with a selection of prints, chosen to show the span of her impressive career and to highlight her most significant works. David Ebony's text brings Mason's life and work into focus, showing how her unique painterly vocabulary has proven that the expressive possibilities of abstract art are indeed boundless. 86 color illustrations.