Recently I visited Susan Hartung’s studio on North Street in downtown Pittsfield. Susan is getting ready for a retrospective of her work curated by Peter Dudek, which will be exhibited this September at the HVCC Teaching Gallery in Troy, NY.
Susan’s art encompasses painting, drawing and some photography. She is also a poet. Experiencing her work, be it by looking, reading, or listening is akin to walking in a meadow after it rained when the light and air is enchanting. Or perhaps very early in the morning when it’s still quiet and odds are favorable. It is a moment of clarity, a dearest memory, an openness.
Her’s is a study in mindfulness regardless of circumstances.
She has outwitted the grid and ruffled abstraction sincerely, playfully, unflinchingly. A photograph morphs into a drawing and colors into a painting. The line is a word and another word and another… Fragments aware of their own own fluidity and purpose. Rhetorical questions without irony.
Susan’s work, like she herself, emanates a luminosity. She recognizes the Beauty and Form of animal footprints on a snow covered ground. The real drama is found in keeping things going. Elements. Life.
She looks for lines. She looks for light. She sees from within and stays curious. She has a most lovely smile and eyes the color of a landscape far in the distance seen from a mountain top. And then there’s her laugh: youthful, unadulterated, affecting.
Susan’s work, both visual and poetry echoes that laugh of her’s. There is joy, even if sometimes on equal footing with sadness. A complexity runs throughout. Fragments can be both glimpses either into or out of something. Lines can be connected again. It is about connectedness, perhaps even about how things work or don’t in life, love, color theories, language.. A paint brush stroke on canvas, pencil line on paper, a poem that goes straight into the heart of what matters.
Susan Hartung’s retrospective, titled “Following The Line,” will be exhibited at HVCC September 18th through October 25th. The opening reception will take place on Thursday, September 18th 4:00 – 6:00 pm.
I have posted one of Susan’s poems, “The Insistence of Hope,” in a previous post here.