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Susan Schwalb
updated: 07/10/2010
website: www.susanschwalb.com
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
dimensions
Click thumbnails for full view:
 
Toccata #12
Times Suspended: Fifty Quiet Moments
Horizon
Nocturne
Strata #449
Strata #445
Madrigal #10
Strata #465
Madrigal #16
Strata #447
Strata #440
Strata #486
Madrigal #22
Madrigal #4
Strata #488
 
Portfolio Keywords:  abstract, meditative, geometric, obsessive, process
 
 
Toccata #12 by Susan Schwalb
Toccata #12
mixed metalpoint drawings on clay coated paper
2010
12 " x  12 " 
Times Suspended: Fifty Quiet Moments by Susan Schwalb
Times Suspended: Fifty Quiet Moments
50 mixed metalpoint drawings on white Plike paper, each drawing 3.5
2010
3.5 " x  3,5 " 
Horizon by Susan Schwalb
Horizon
mixed metalpoint artist book, 10 drawings in a box, box 12"x12" closed drawing 9.5"x9.5"
2009
Dimensions variable
Nocturne by Susan Schwalb
Nocturne
mixed metalpoint artist book on video media paper scroll 12"x72"
2003
Dimensions variable
Strata #449 by Susan Schwalb
Strata #449
silverpoint on red plaka paper
2007
12" x  12" 
Strata #445 by Susan Schwalb
Strata #445
mixed metalpoint on black plaka papaer
2007
12" x  12" 
Madrigal #10 by Susan Schwalb
Madrigal #10
copperpoint, bronze on white plaka paper
2010
12 " x  12 " 
Strata #465 by Susan Schwalb
Strata #465
mixed metalpoint on white plaka paper
2007
18" x  18" 
Madrigal #16 by Susan Schwalb
Madrigal #16
brasspoint, bronze on clay coated paper
2010
18 " x  18 " 
Strata #447 by Susan Schwalb
Strata #447
mixed metalpoint on black plaka paper
2007
18" x  18" 
Strata #440 by Susan Schwalb
Strata #440
silverpoint on red plaka paper
2007
12" x  12" 
Strata #486 by Susan Schwalb
Strata #486
silverpoint on cream plike paper
2008
12 " x  12 " 
Madrigal #22 by Susan Schwalb
Madrigal #22
brasspoint, bronzwe on white Plike paper
2010
18 " x  18 " 
Madrigal #4 by Susan Schwalb
Madrigal #4
copperpoint on cream Plike paper
2010
9 " x  9 " 
Strata #488 by Susan Schwalb
Strata #488
silverpoint on black plike paper
2008
12" x  12" 

Artist Statement

My new drawings use the classical Renaissance technique of metalpoint in a way which challenges all the traditional concepts. Juxtaposing a wide variety of metals (silver, gold, brass, copper, platinum, pewter, bronze and aluminum) I obtain soft shifts in tone and color reminiscent of the luminous transparency of watercolor. Horizontal bands evoke an atmosphere of serenity, and the shimmer of light on the surface, created by the metals, is quite unlike any of the usual effects of metalpoint.

 

I have been working on several groups of drawings all relatively intimate in scale. The series entitled "Strata" projects subtle, meditative relationships between the metallic bands. In the drawings entitled "Traces", I have drawn repeatedly over particular areas to create darker colors and have scratched into the surface of the paper.

 

The "Vibration" and "Palimpsest" series expand the technique by fusing drawing and painting. Color is essential to these wood panels. I apply several layers of paint, draw over them with the metalpoint and then erase parts of the surface with sandpaper to expose the paint. Often I add additional paint and drawing to intensify the layered effect. The images seem to float on the wall creating what appears to be a 3-dimensional undulating surface.

 

Artist Bio / CV

 

Susan Schwalb is one of the foremost figures in the revival of the ancient technique of silverpoint drawing in America. Most of the contemporary artists who draw with a metal stylus continue the tradition of Leonardo and Dürer.. By contrast, Schwalb’s work is resolutely abstract, and her handling of the technique is extremely innovative.  In recent works, Schwalb abandons the stylus altogether in favor of wide metal bands that achieve a shimmering atmosphere reminiscent of the luminous transparency of watercolor.

 

Schwalb was born in New York City in 1944 and studied at Carnegie-Mellon University. Her current drawings juxtapose a wide variety of metals (silver, gold, brass, copper, platinum, pewter, bronze and aluminum) to obtain soft shifts in tone and color. Horizontal bands evoke an atmosphere of serenity, and the shimmer of light on the surface, created by the metals, is quite unlike any of the usual effects of metalpoint.

 

Schwalb’s oeuvre ranges from drawings on paper to artist books and paintings on canvas or wood panels; many of these panels are carefully beveled so that the imagery seems to float off the wall. Her work is represented in numerous public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery, Washington DC; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England; Victoria and Albert Museum, London ;The British Museum, London; The Brooklyn Museum, NY; The Fogg Art ­Museum, Harvard University; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; The Achenbach Foundation of Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; The Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Hebrew University, Jerusalem; The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Massachusetts; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut; Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art; Arkansas Arts Center; Wesleyan University, Connecticut; Minneapolis Museum of Art; Telfair Art Museum, Savannah Georgia; Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.