Arthur Polonsky (June 6, 1925 – April 4, 2019) was a symbolic painter, draughtsman and educator, known for his explorations of light, water, flight and similarly lyrical motifs that, in esoteric and unsettling ways, alluded to myth, fantasy, music, the Bible, or the poetry of Symbolist and Modernist poets subsequent to Rimbaud and Rilke. "The dialogue with color, texture and subject is always alive" the late performer Barbara Swan Fink says of his work. His drawings, in particular, "have the activity of a direct nod to a subject, a venturesome use of heritage or tone, a suitability of charged intensity. His portrait drawings not only have fellow feeling but atmosphere a environment that is allocation artist, part model.
Polonsky was as a consequence a key participant in Boston Expressionism and, in a lengthy oral records interview for the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, an important witness. The roots of the motion link to two separate, but overlapping, circles of mid-Century artists, and Polonsky was involved with both. The first was associated to Boston's School of the Museum of Fine Arts where Polonsky, a Museum School graduate, later taught. The second was united to Boston's Boris Mirski Gallery where Polonsky exhibited. Artists within these circles started interacting more, in the late 1940s, when many of them, including Polonsky, Karl Zerbe and Hyman Bloom, began meeting to domicile fears that major Boston museums were shutting out contemporary artists. The meetings inspired more activism, including the formation of the New England Chapter of Artists Equity and the Boston Arts Festival, with the former advocating for artists' rights and representation, and the latter providing a democratic Good arts forum in the center of Boston's Public Garden. This community organizing led not lonely to additional arts organizations, but with a more tightly organized community of artists. The clash of ideas and influences that resulted developed a symbolic style of Expressionism specific to New England.