Exhibit: Through Friday, December 17
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 28, 4 p.m.
St. Ambrose University's Catich Gallery, Galvin Fine Arts Center, 2101 Gaines Street, Davenport IA
Expressive, multi-hued works by an esteemed professor of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa will be on display in St. Ambrose University's Catich Gallery, with the venue, through December 17. showcasing paintings by Susan Chrysler White, whose artistic creations, as the artist says, are “subjects that I am grappling with as my work moves into more poignantly personal terrain.”
White is a recent recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award in Painting and Sculpture from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as one of seven artists in Iowa filmed by Iowa Public Television for the Iowa Master Artist Series. The artist has exhibited her work in more than 30 solo shows and 100 group exhibitions nationally and internationally, and her work is collected by numerous venues including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Worcester Art Museum, Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, the Prudential Insurance Company of America, Kirkwood Community College, and Iowa City's University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Additionally, White's work has been reviewed in more than 80 periodicals over the years, including the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Arts Magazine, Art News, New York Magazine, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Sun Times, and the Chicago Tribune.
In her artist's description for her new exhibit at St. Ambrose, White states, “There is a basic human tendency to seek order in the current of experience in which we are constantly swimming. There is a variety of languages (scientific, artistic, and spiritual, as well as ordinary discursive) by which we attempt to organize our worlds, and they frequently borrow from one another-thus the richness of metaphor. Interlocking systems in my compositions allow structures to form and build larger aggregate systems. Densely layered material speaks, hopefully, metaphorically to the layering of meaning. The traces seen through the transparency of the material allude to the passage of time, fracturing and rebuilding of connections, weather maps exploding on our computer screens warning of volatile weather patterns, the instability of global political systems... Accretion and repetition express, in abstract pictorial language, dramatic environmental changes.
“I want to explore ideas about climate, weather, history (both art and geopolitical), personal emotional and psychological states, what it means to have relationships, being a mother, the enormity of what it means to be human being. Parched landscapes, extreme flooding and uncontainable wildfires speak to a natural world out of balance. These paintings also strive to represent interior experience and its transitory connections among ideas and emotional states. How do you show the simultaneity of events, experiences of an unstable environment, an unstable relationship, and deep felt emotional responses in symbolic form? How can I best describe, in abstract language, the loss of a person's mind and of all the memory that builds a connected life as it becomes incoherent?
“My pictorial spaces are often flattened, compressed, taut, under tension, a compulsion with pattern, marked by linear chord structures building to a crescendo on the surface, competing for air space, trapped with no exit strategy, all alluding to our relationship with the natural world, as well as to that relationship's repercussions on the human psyche.”
A 4 p.m. opening reception for the Susan Chrysler White exhibition will be held on October 28 in the Catich Gallery located in St. Ambrose's Galvin Fine Arts Center, and the exhibit itself will be on display through December 17. While the venue's regular hours are Mondays through Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the public can currently visit the gallery by appointment only. Admission is free, and more information is available by calling (563)333-6444 and visiting SAU.edu/catich.