Susan Schwalb
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Recent Paintings
Paintings 2009–2013
Paintings 1997–2008
Drawings 1998–2009
Artist Books

Metalpoint 1974–95
Sculpture 1977–96
SusanI use the classical Renaissance technique of silverpoint and metalpoint in a way which challenges the traditional concepts. My work is abstract and my handling of the medium has become increasingly bold.

The works on paper juxtapose a wide variety of metals (silver, gold, brass, copper, platinum, pewter, bronze, and aluminum) to obtain soft shifts in tone and color reminiscent of the transparency of watercolor. A shimmering luminosity creates what often appears to be a 3-dimensional undulating surface.

By contrast, the paintings focus on color and the silverpoint drawing becomes more of an element of structure; in these works on wood panels, drawing and painting are fused. I apply several layers of paint, using different colors, after which I draw with the metalpoint. Then I erase part of the surface with sandpaper to expose the paint underneath. Often I add additional paint and drawing to intensify the layered effect. The paintings seem to float on the wall, and a luminosity begins to emerge from somewhere in the interior, at times creating an aura of reflected light, at times appearing to evoke memories or afterimages.

photo © 2008 Arzente Fine Art