The popularity of art fairs has grown in the past decade. These venues bring together galleries, artists, and collectors to learn about artists from around the world and to recognize and contemplate the importance of art in society. Many fairs focus on certain themes and will often feature panels and conversations among leaders involved in all aspects of the art world.
Contemporary Istanbul is no exception. Galleries, artists, media, and collectors flock to Istanbul for the 10th anniversary of this renowned art fair. This year, the focus is on Contemporary Tehran and New Media, both of which are novel themes to this venue. Much of the work is politically motivated, revealing aspects of diverse cultures and the tension between races, religions, progress, and new technologies. However, not all of the exhibits portray this upheaval.
Galerie Edition Purrmann represents eight artists whose works are inspired by landscapes. The use of different mediums contributes to an assortment of artwork, encompassing both two- and three-dimensional pieces, including heavily layered and textured paintings. Regardless of the medium, these works always look to the theme of nature.
Susan Swartz’s paintings, in particular Bhutan September and Contemplation in Square 2, provide an oasis from the aesthetically bright and thematically heavy artwork present throughout the fair. The soft colors and meditative disposition of Swartz’s paintings remind us of the escapism that art often provides. We are transported to a place of serenity and spirituality.
Situated at the entrance of Galerie Edition Purrmann’s space, Swartz’s Eastern Energy connects the other art at the fair to that located within this specific booth. The dominant red and yellow colors of Eastern Energy, reminiscent of Western narratives of the East, radiate a lively spirit and feeling of vitality. It evokes rays of sunshine bouncing off surfaces on an electrifyingly hot day, not unlike the glistening of the gold and mosaics in the historical Turkish landscape.
Step into Galerie Edition Purrmann’s booth to be fully immersed in a world where the meaning of the artwork comes from the creative process. Michael Kmoth, Ralph Fleck, Ben Kamli, Markus Lüpertz, and Andreas Lutherer – all artists exhibiting with Galerie Edition Purrmann – share a common ethos with Swartz. Art is not just a hobby or means of expressing a motivated idea. It is a passion, a necessary component of living. For these artists, their medium of choice is a way of life.
Contemporary Istanbul clearly establishes Susan Swartz on the international canvas. Her paintings have a global identity that transcend cultures and nationalities and connect the human spirit to a universal experience -- that of the world of the imagination.