Susan Schwalb

New York City, NY USA

https://www.susanschwalb.com

Susan Schwalb is one of the foremost figures in the revival of the ancient technique of silverpoint drawing in America. She was born in New York City and studied at the High School of M&A, and at Carnegie-Mellon University. Schwalb has been in residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (2010,’07, ‘92,’73), the MacDowell Colony (1989, ’75,’74), Yaddo, 1981 and has had two residencies in Israel in 1994 at Mishkenot Sha’ananim, Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Artists’ Studios. She has had over 50 solo exhibitions and has exhibited nationally and internationally. 

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 most of the major public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the National Gallery, Washington DC, The British Museum, London, The Brooklyn Museum, NY, Kupferstichkabinett – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England. 

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. 

Artist Statement

My primary medium for over 40 years has been the Renaissance technique of silverpoint and metalpoint drawing. 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. Horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines 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. My work is abstract, and my handling of the medium has become increasingly bold.

Often a shimmering luminosity creates what appears to be a 3-dimensional undulating surface. I have been working within a square format almost exclusively since 1997. An even grid of narrow horizontal or diagonal lines forms the basic structure and serves as a spatial context for irregular events on the surface.

Many of my drawings have musical titles, which evolved intuitively. It is not only because I live with a composer and love music, but also because there is a parallel in the fact that music is abstract like my work. 

Creation Series

Envisioned Ark Curtain

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