When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Susan Bennerstrom

"Gage"  32" x 48"  2009

"Spiral no. 1"  32" x 48"  2008


"Hotel Boss"  47" x 53"  2010
"Ebey"  18" x 26.75"  2010

"Rise"  40" x 48"  2010

 Susan Bennerstrom's art employs realism but ultimately has another objective. The artist works from photos but the photos are merely a starting place for spatial abstraction. She simplifies the forms, removes extraneous detail and carefully models the lighting to create the illusion of complex geometric spaces. There's plenty of references left to identify the location. It's a fine tuned reminder that abstraction and representation are more closely related than most people think. She began her career working exclusively in pastels, both chalk and oil. But in 2008 she switched to oil paints and has worked in this media consistently ever since. The pastels lent her earlier work an atmospheric quality which was appropriate as she concentrated more on light, depicting landscapes as well as buildings and interiors. But her gradual focus on these these interior architectural forms has made the switch an appropriate one. The light in her work is still a prominent feature, but it is subservient to the forms themselves, helping to carve them out with sculptural precision. The brushwork lends the whole a tremendous sense of solidity.

Though the essence of these paintings is one of stillness, the dynamic of narrative is nonetheless powerfully present. For narrative is such a deeply human instinct that the lit stage, even without the actors can be as compelling as any play. and the promise of a story as powerful as story itself. Her quiet sets seem saturated with possibilities and perhaps, even a little mystery.

You can see much more of her work on her website: www.susanbennerstrom.com

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