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The news of artist, environmental activist, documentary film producer and philanthropist Susan Swartz.

A Look Back at Susan's Solo Exhibition at CAFA, Beijing - Oct 2018

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In a cultural twist to Throw Back Thursdays, a year ago today on October 10, 2018 we were celebrating a pre-opening reception at PACE Gallery Beijing for Susan’s show at the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum in China (CAFA) that ran from October 11-November 4, 2018. 

The PACE Beijing reception featured works Susan would be premiering for the very first time the next day at CAFA, and was attended by influencers such as Chinese media mogul Lang Yan and representatives from the Utah Trade Mission to China including: Utah's Speaker of the House, Greg Hughes; Miles Hansen, CEO of Utah's World Trade Center; and Scott Anderson, President and CEO of Zions Bank. Dignitaries from the US Embassy in Beijing were also in attendance. 

Last year Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert proclaimed October 11, 2018 Utah-China Cultural Friendship day. The announcement of Herbert's proclamation occurred in honor of the opening of Susan's solo exhibition at CAFA on October 11th.  Mary Anne Huntsman - pianist and daughter of the former Chinese Ambassador and Utah's former Governor, Jon Huntsman - performed a stunning recital at the opening with famed Chinese violinist Gao Can. The proclamation was read from the stage by Governor Herbert's son, Brad Herbert. An official with Zions Bank, Brad was there with the Utah Trade Mission and won over the crowd of Chinese art figures including CAFA's President Fan Di'an.

Susan pictured with curator Walter Smerling, Utah dignitaries, and CAFA staff

In the days that followed during her visit to China, Susan participated in a panel discussion for current students at CAFA entitled "Is Abstract Art Universal?" 

She was also honored at an October 12th luncheon with US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, where Scott Anderson gifted the US Embassy in China through the Art in Embassies program with one of Susan's paintings (Shimmering Light, Acrylic on linen, 48x48” 2016) on behalf of Zions Bank and the State of Utah. On a side note, Ambassador Bradstad was in Utah this summer for the Western Governors Association meetings and shared with an audience during a luncheon presentation that he adores Shimmering Light and hung it in his personal office so that he would be able to enjoy it daily.

Last November we were pleased to be able to reciprocate in showing hospitality to the Chinese Embassy in DC by welcoming a delegation to Susan Swartz Studios for a tour and special luncheon. The Chinese delegation were in Utah to participate in the World Trade Center’s Utah Global Forum conference at the Grand America in Salt Lake City.  

A year later we see much has transpired between the US and China from a trade perspective but the cultural ties between Utah and China remain with the Utah Museums paying tribute last winter to the Spike 150 Celebrations across the state. We hope art and culture can continue to provide a platform to encourage further dialogue and we were thrilled to play a part last year.  

Susan’s latest commission dedicated to zion national park

Last Saturday August 31st, Susan was honored to unveil one of her latest paintings, Zion’s Glow (72x72” acrylic on linen) at the Zion National Park Centennial Celebration. Commissioned by Zions Bank, the painting was dedicated at the VIP Dinner for the Utah Symphony concert featuring Sting.

Pictured (L-R): Susan Swartz, A. Scott Anderson, President & CEO of Zions Bank, Jim Swartz.

Pictured (L-R): Susan Swartz, A. Scott Anderson, President & CEO of Zions Bank, Jim Swartz.

Susan took the stage to present the work and convey some personal thoughts with the crowd:

It was truly an honor to be chosen as a Utah artist to create a work to commemorate Zion Park’s Centennial year. As an artist, I am inspired to paint what God has created. When I think of the incredible beauty from my many trips to Zion, I immediately conjure up images of its vibrant reds at sunset and sunrise. They are awe-inspiring and evidence of the true wonders of nature. It was in this vein that I wanted to capture the intensity of those reds in Zion’s Glow. It is my hope that Zion National Park and its Forever Foundation will enjoy it as much as I did creating it, as a tribute to such a special national treasure for which we are all here to celebrate."

Pictured (L-R) Photo 1: Jim and Susan Swartz, Congressman Ben McAdams, and Julie McAdams, and Byron Russell; Photo 2: Susan Swartz with Miles Hansen, President and CEO of the World Trade Center Utah, and Siena Hansen; Photo 3: Jim and Susan Swartz with Pat Mitchell and Scott Seydel; Photo 4 & 5: Susan speaks during the dedication of Zion’s Glow.

Read more about the benefit concert in our previous blog post and in the Salt Lake Tribune.

ZION PARK CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION SHOWCASES COMMISSION BY SUSAN SWARTZ

Zion’s Glow , 2019. 72x72” acrylic on linen by Susan Swartz. Photo credit: Mark Maziarz.

Zion’s Glow, 2019. 72x72” acrylic on linen by Susan Swartz. Photo credit: Mark Maziarz.

Susan Swartz Studios is pleased to announce the upcoming dedication of Swartz’s latest commission, Zion’s Glow, a 72x72” acrylic on linen painting.  Commissioned by Zions Bank, this large-scale painting is a gift to Zion National Park in honor of its Centennial year. The official presentation will take place on Saturday, August 31st during a VIP dinner for guests of the Zion National Park Forever celebration. Guests of the VIP dinner will each receive a gift of Swartz’s award-winning book Natural Revelations. The evening will culminate with a benefit concert featuring legendary musician Sting with the Utah Symphony – together promoting stewardship for the park and celebrating its profound impacts.  

A. Scott Anderson, President and CEO of Zions Bank, will present the painting with co-host Kem C. Gardner, Chairman of the Gardner Company. Anderson remarked, "It is only fitting on the 100th anniversary of Zion National Park, to commemorate the event for the eternities with the presentation of Susan Swartz’s Zion’s Glow painting to Zion Park.  Susan is one of the world’s greatest painters, whose command of color and light and space has captured the very soul of this magnificent Park and the beauty and the magnificence of God’s creation. This painting, to hang in the Park, will inspire future visitors for its next 100 years.”

The August 31st event is both a celebration of Zion’s Centennial and part of a campaign to promote stewardship of the Park for the next century and beyond. With over 4.3 million visitors each year, Zion National Park is threatened by the impacts of visitation. The Zion Forever Project is an effort to build a new model for stewardship by encouraging all visitors to be “Keepers of the Sanctuary”. As an official nonprofit partner of Zion National Park, the project transforms visitors into more conscious stewards and builds support to preserve the monumental landscape – a source of inspiration for Swartz and countless other artists for future generations.

Zion’s Glow , 2019. 72x72” acrylic on linen by Susan Swartz. The large-scale commission was purchased by Zions Bank and will be dedicated to Zion National Park in celebration of its centennial year.

Zion’s Glow, 2019. 72x72” acrylic on linen by Susan Swartz. The large-scale commission was purchased by Zions Bank and will be dedicated to Zion National Park in celebration of its centennial year.

More information about the celebration is available in the Salt Lake Tribune and Mountain Express Magazine.

Susan Swartz featured at Melides Art, Portugal

Sandy Bowen, Geralyn Dreyfous, Miguel Carvalho, Susan Swartz, and Walter Smerling pictured at the Art Pavilion at Melides Art.

Sandy Bowen, Geralyn Dreyfous, Miguel Carvalho, Susan Swartz, and Walter Smerling pictured at the Art Pavilion at Melides Art.

Portugal is having a moment.  Since 2014 the country has been flourishing. It transcended tough economic times and now enjoys booming tourism, a recent cultural and culinary renaissance and an attractive political climate, drawing visitors there from around the world.  

With that vibrant setting as the backdrop, a visionary leader in Portugal's art/cultural ecosystem, Miguel Carvalho, has helped to fuel the nation's creative shift with his bold passion to bring together the best of art, architecture and design. The destination is Melides, one of the most beautiful places in Portugal where he's transforming a remote former eucalyptus farm over an hour from Lisbon into an artistic epicenter for art and design devotees called Melides Art. 

From its website melidesart.com, it's accurately described as a place “where art meets nature, a place where you can experience the powerful alchemy of art and nature in the wildly beautiful, utterly inspiring and glorious surroundings of the Alentejo coastal region. Set amidst a contemporary art park, thus providing a truly unique lifestyle concept, this residential project and art community is designed to be an innovative, creative, and international platform for some of the world’s most talented living modern artists.”

Artist Susan Swartz was honored to be invited as one of five exhibiting visual artists to participate in the groundbreaking kick off of the new Melides Art Pavilion designed by James Waterworth, SOHO House's former European Design Director.  The exclusive invite only launch took place on May 18 to coincide with Lisbon's prestigious annual contemporary Art Fair, ARCO 2019 which took place May 15 - 19. ARCO boasts an interesting mix of Portuguese and international artists drawing leaders in the European art world, writers, photographers and critics there to take part.

Melides Art held a progressive opening encompassing several successive events in one robust evening. It started with a sunset gathering at the new Art Pavilion to see the sculptures of Brooklyn artist Aaron King and a triptych by Susan Swartz entitled Natural Flux 101, 102 and 103.  

The crowd then made their way to Studio 6 for dinner and a chance to preview more works by Aaron King and artists Johannes Vanderbeek, Anabela Soares and Stephen G. Rhodes. After dinner the group was treated to a live art installation performance by artist Tony Cassanelli and the soulful gospel collective choir of Mozambique Khanimambo led by Selma Uamusse who urged the crowd to consider helping the flood victims of Mozambique.

The choir ensemble then led the crowd in a singing procession into Studio 4 to enjoy the installation of 40 original paintings by Susan Swartz and a concert by world class pianist Joao Ventura who performed the original music composition of Susan's art installation video Preserving Grace on a baby grand while the video was projected onto a 30 foot outdoor screen under the nearly full moon. Ventura’s musical achievements also include accompanying Madonna during her surprise performance at the 2018 Met Gala.

Portugal's beloved singer Jon Luz then surprised the crowd with a private concert at the end of the evening. All who were there gathered around the piano in delight to hear Luz accompanied by Joao Ventura collaboratively spark their creative magic. It was an ethereal experience and a beautiful moment in time set against the stunning landscape of Susan Swartz’s exhibition. 

We are pleased to share highlights of Susan's exhibition and her epic week in Portugal.

Read more about the bustling community at Melides Art in the Observador, Wall Street Journal, and in the forthcoming edition of Roof Magazine.

Opening of "Personal Path" Provides a Forum for Cross-Cultural Exchange

Ambassador Jon Huntsman; Susan Swartz; former Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder; Mikhail Shvydkoy

Ambassador Jon Huntsman; Susan Swartz; former Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder; Mikhail Shvydkoy

Cultural exchange is the balm for today’s tense political climate, and art is the universal language that can initiate the dialogue.  In today’s tense political climate, the most important thing to support is cultural exchange.  Art, as US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman affirms, “transcends us all.  It transcends borders, boundaries.”  Susan Swartz’s exhibition “Personal Path,” which opened Tuesday, November 28th at the State Russian Museum, transcends boundaries, creating a dialogue between the United States and Russia.  For the first time in five years an American artist is exhibiting work at a Russian museum. 

Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy, former Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder, and US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman spoke at the opening of “Personal Path.”  In their respective speeches, each official discussed the importance of art in maintaining relationships and encouraging conversation between countries.

In his opening remarks, former Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder said: “Art is something people understand.  Art and culture can help build friends…today’s exhibition is one of the steps to a stable and peaceful world because artists understand people and unite us.  Susan shows us how fragile nature is and how beautiful it is and how we need to take care of it [sic].  She shows us how it is important to be creative.  Through her painting she makes the world a better place…she helps us to understand there are more things that unite us instead of separate us.”

Gerhard Schröder and Susan Swartz

Gerhard Schröder and Susan Swartz

Susan Swartz brings color and the feeling of Spring to St. Petersburg, Russia, encouraging dialogue and ensuring that cultural exchanges continue.  With “Personal Path” Susan Swartz has become an international symbol for unity.

Visual Mapping of the Soul

The Bonn based Foundation for Art and Culture is presenting works by Susan Swartz in the Marble Palace of the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg

Artist Susan Swartz in front of her artwork at the Ludwig Museum at the State Russian Museum

Artist Susan Swartz in front of her artwork at the Ludwig Museum at the State Russian Museum

Bonn/St. Petersburg, 27.11.17. After Salzburg, Koblenz and Budapest, St. Petersburg is now the fourth European location in which the American artist is staging her solo exhibition "Personal Path". On view until January 29, 2018 in the State Russian Museum are 113 of her paintings.

Susan Swartz has dedicated herself to one of the timeless themes in the history of art: the ambivalent relationship between nature and painting. Steeped in the tradition of American historical landscape
painting, her pictures are all rooted in her perception of the natural world, which she abstracts in her
works, and to which she has developed a profoundly personal, even spiritual, affinity. "These
paintings", observes Alexander Borovsky in his catalogue essay, "are intended to evoke on our retinas 1 scents, noises or even the rays of sunlight shimmering through the trees. If that does not sound

altogether abstract, then this is because Swartz’s abstractions are truly extraordinary. They are closely bound to the senses, full of familiar optical, tactile and even acoustic elements." Curator Dieter Ronte has described the work of Susan Swartz as the “visual mapping of her own soul".

The exhibition is being inaugurated by the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and the new US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman. Also scheduled to attend the inauguration is Mikhail Shvydkoy, Special representative of the President of the Russian Federation for international cooperation in culture.

With the project "Susan Swartz – Personal Path", the Foundation for Art and Culture is continuing to nurture one of its principal objectives, namely fostering intercultural dialogue, at a time and place in which the political situation serves to highlight the need for cultural bridges.

Accompanying the exhibition is a catalogue featuring contributions by Alexander Borovsky (Head of the Department of Contemporary Art at the State Russian Museum), Dieter Ronte (curator of the exhibition) and Walter Smerling (Chairman of the Foundation for Art and Culture, Bonn).

courtesy of Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur e.V. (Foundation for Art and Culture), Bonn, Germany

Susan Swartz Featured in a Solo Exhibition at the Ludwig Museum at the State Russian Museum in St Petersburg

“Personal Path” is on view November 27, 2017 to January 28, 2018

St Peterburg Installation

“Personal Path” at the Ludwig Museum in St Petersburg is the first show in Russia for Park City, Utah and Martha’s Vineyard artist Susan Swartz. More than 100 paintings from the early 2000s through the present will be on view from Tuesday, November 27, 2017 to January 28, 2018.

In 2014, Swartz attended the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia, absorbing the grandeur of her surroundings to gain inspiration for her paintings. “I came away with a stronger and more intense interpretation for my following paintings, accelerating me into more aggressive and abstract interpretations of my environment,” Swartz comments. “It is always amazing to me how these experiences jolt my consciousness and take me into expanding interpretations of nature.” Swartz’s return to Russia continues her journey along her personal path: this solo exhibition openly displays her growth as an artist.

In the forward to the exhibition catalogue for “Personal Path,” Russian art critic Alexander Borovsky describes the significance of Swartz’s artwork: “The paintings transform and combine the experience of the artist’s presence in nature, of personal contact with it –– both of the sublime poetic variety, and of the everyday, almost automatic, tactile kind.” Swartz challenges the viewer to reflect upon the ever-shifting dimensionality of human existence.

It is a momentous undertaking for an American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Ludwig Museum at the Marble Palace of State Russian Museum in St Petersburg.  Swartz joins Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana and Judith Rothschild in the privilege of exhibiting at this museum.  Swartz looks forward to growing her international presence as her art reaches a new audience.

Professor Doctor Dieter Ronte curated the exhibition with the assistance of esteemed Russian art critic Alexander Borovsky and the Foundation for Art and Culture Bonn.  The Foundation for Art and Culture Bonn has produced exhibitions of Anselm Kiefer, Markus Lüpertz and Gerhard Richter. In addition, the Foundation has been widely recognized for its groundbreaking cross-cultural show, “China 8,” which featured works of Chinese artists in nine museums across Germany. Its counterpart, “Germany 8,” featured German art in eight venues across Beijing.

Swartz’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Hungary; the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz, Germany; Kollegienkirche Salzburg in Austria; the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC; the Springville Museum in Springville, Utah; and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City.  Her studios are in Park City, Utah and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Exhibition catalogues are available for purchase. 

Additional information, photos and interviews are available upon request.

Susan Swartz Russia Exhibition to Open November 28, 2017

The Ludwig Museum at The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

The Ludwig Museum at The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

Susan Swartz announces a solo exhibition at The Ludwig Museum at The State Russian Museum (Marble Palace) in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

The exhibition opens on Tuesday November 28th, 2017 and will be on view through January 28, 2018.  This will be the latest iteration of Swartz’s Personal Path exhibition following very successful shows in Budapest, Koblenz, and Salzburg. 

Personal Path at The Ludwig Museum at the Russian Museum will feature many of Swartz’s newer paintings including those from her Contemplation, Nature Revisited, and Irregular Mist series.   Also on view will be her dramatic moving art video.

Esteemed Russian art critic Alexander Borovsky will write the text for the exhibition catalog.  In addition to his notable writings on the Hermitage, Borovsky has established himself as an expert on 20th century art.  He is a jury member for numerous award competitions including Innovatsia, the Sergey Kuryokhin Prize, Ars Fennica, and the Kandinsky Prize.

Part of the Russian Museum, the Ludwig Museum in St Petersburg is comprised of artwork donated by the German collectors Irene and Peter Ludwig.  The museum’s collection contains important works of American pop-art and German neo-expressionism.

Additional information about Personal Path at The Ludwig Museum in St Petersburg will be forthcoming.