An Exhibition and a Book Launch
Held on October 5 through October 30, 2018
1045 Elmwood Gallery for the Arts
Buffalo, NY 14222
Over four decades of paintings by Susan Copley was on exhibit at 1045 Elmwood Gallery for the Arts, from October 5th through October 30th. The opening reception, held on Friday, October 5 featured Susan's just-published limited edition book, Susan Copley, Then and Now: Four Decades of Painting. The chapters of the book feature essays and photographs documenting the evolution of the artist's work.
The book is available for sale at the 1045 Elmwood Gallery
and online at Amazon.com
Gallery Hours are Thursday 11-4, Friday 11-6 and Saturday, 11-4 or by appointment, 716-228-1855.
My paintings are a study of contrasts, hard versus soft, light areas bumping into dark planes, flat areas moving towards shaded spectrums, straight lines opposing brushed spaces. I like to think of it as city life and the rural landscape merging together.
I grew up in New York City, and my early experience of life there with its drama and excitement contrasts in my mind with a quiet, peaceful, grassy landscape rich with plants, flowers, and trees. I think of my current work as representing both sides simultaneously within the image.
My paintings are thus a contrast of the hard shapes of architecture in a city with the soft, sensual, calm of a landscape. As in an early painting, City People Seeking Solitude of 1998, the blending between the views is evident. No judgments are offered as to which view is better. Rather, they are paired together as simple and equal parts of the whole.
A series called “Banners” follows a series of landscape memories in which sculptural forms in nature are of primary concern. The powerful elements I find in nature intrigue me. Not meant to represent a specific place in a realistic way, these paintings exemplify the subtle effects of light and shadow on a landscape. Sky colors and cloud formations reappear in water reflections and shadows falling in a garden. Several paintings such as Rain call to mind the vertical drips of water falling on a distant landscape.
This introductory book will help provide an understanding of my work from 1978 to the present. I find it interesting and challenging to experiment with materials in new formats. Yet while it seems that my work is ever changing, the underlying references are always constant. The references to nature and the relationship between color, light, and texture are my focus. These foundational elements allow me to interject motion and depth into my art.
After finishing a painting, I discover new concepts to intuitively explore in the one that follows. I am always thinking about the next painting as I work. Each series takes about seven years to develop and evolve, and subtle changes happen as I move from painting to painting. My images come from personal memories of places I have seen, and even paintings that appear more abstract begin with an impression of a setting or space.
--- Susan Copley
Art has always been the focus of my life and has shaped the way I see the world. I interpret what I see in my own way, somewhere between abstraction and realism.
My influences are varied. Color, light, texture, shading, the nature that surrounds us, and the effect of wind and weather on the landscape are always present.
Beginning as an abstract painter, my work evolved through realism and back to abstraction again. I see the body of my work in terms of a series of chapters as in a novel as the story progresses.