Blog

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

The Opening of the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis

Susan at the museum opening.

Photo credit: Drew Altizer

Susan Swartz Studios is proud to support the opening of the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis. 

Since its founding in the early 1960s, UC Davis Department of Art has been one of the preeminent MFA programs in the United States.  It was established to cultivate an environment of creativity and experimentation while remaining true to the fundamental properties of materials.  Today, the Manetti Shrem Museum advances its mission through its dedication to education, interdisciplinary experimentation, and community engagement.

Director and Curator Rachel Teagle describes the Museum as being “ ‘Art Wide Open,’ meaning that we want to show a broad range of art, from art that inspires great beauty to art that engages the critical issues of our time.”  With its renown art faculty, the diversity of its collections, and its anticipated exhibitions, the Museum will solidify the University’s reputation in the art world.

The Manetti Shrem Museum of Art will exhibit Swartz’s work in the fall of 2017.  This exhibition will be the most extensive US show of Swartz’s work in the past six years.  Susan Swartz is thrilled to be one of the inaugural artists at the forefront of this innovative and venerable institution.  Additional information will be forthcoming.

Susan and Jim Swartz attended the Museum’s opening on November 13th.  Photos from the event can be found here.

 

"Personal Path" at the Ludwig Museum, Budapest

Susan Swartz’s highly anticipated solo exhibition Personal Path opened at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Hungary on Friday, December 9th, 2016; a large crowd of collectors, politicians, museum directors, and art enthusiasts were in attendance.  More than 100 paintings across nine rooms are on display. The show was met with much acclaim.  Walter Smerling, the Director of the Foundation of Art and Culture in Bonn, Germany declared, “There’s never been a show like this.”  Personal Path is on display at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest through January 29th, 2017.

The opening ceremony included speeches by exhibition curator Professor Doctor Dieter Ronte; Ambassador Colleen Bell; Ludwig Museum Director Julia Fabenyi; Juergen Grossman, Honorary President of the Foundation of Arts and Culture, Bonn; Minister of Culture Zoltan Bolag; and the artist herself.  The speakers spoke highly of Swartz’s work, focusing on the emotion of her pieces and her technique.

The monochrome paintings featured in the exhibition are comprised of intricate layers of colors that belie a complexity of artistry.  Exhibition curator Professor Doctor Dieter Ronte elaborates on Swartz’s technique: “The question regarding the options inherent in a single colour is not answered with an expression of monochrome simplicity nor with painterly, self-referential theories, but with a rich abundance of colour.”  The success of a monochrome painting is not dependent on a singular hue, but rather on the skillful manipulation of multiple colors, a masterful technique that distinguishes Swartz’s paintings. 

These new monochrome paintings represent a shift in Swartz’s approach to light.  The artist now uses light as an aesthetic reflection of what is observed, resulting in paintings with a dimensionality that creates an aura around each piece.  Light does not take on form in the painting; rather, it is free and expansive – the way Swartz sees the world.  Swartz does not frame her paintings; instead she extends the color to cover the sides of the canvas, thus creating the illusion that the image is boundless.  The freedom of the painting plays well with Swartz’s use of light.  Curator Dieter Ronte explains, “Light is not introduced for the sake of clarifying the form, nor is it intended to highlight individual characters within the painting.  It grows out of the painting like a film of light and makes every image dynamic.”

Personal Path is an emotional journey for the viewer as well as for the artist.  Swartz’s paintings have always been highly emotional.  They express not only her interpretation of nature, but her relationship with it: there is no distinguishable separation between Swartz and her work.  As Ludwig Museum Director Julia Fabenyi said in her introduction, “Nature is picture, nature is color, nature is oeuvre of Swartz herself.”  For the viewer, simply walking through each exhibition room evokes a different feeling.  For example, the Contemplation Room – in which Swartz’s Contemplation paintings are featured – aspires to create an environment of relaxation and reflection.  The art is to be enjoyed and appreciated for what it is – an emotional exploration of our surroundings. 

The Ludwig Museum in Budapest displays modern and contemporary art, primarily with a focus on Eastern and Central European, including Hungarian art from the 60s to the present.  Its permanent collection – donated to the museum by Peter and Irene Ludwig – houses notable American pop artists including Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol.

Swartz’s paintings have been featured in solo exhibitions at the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz, Germany; Kollegienkirche in Salzburg, Austria; the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC; the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City; and the Springville Museum in Springville, Utah.

Susan Swartz was the Official Olympic Environmental Artist for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.  Her work is in numerous national and international collections.  Swartz paints from studios in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts and Park City, Utah, where she also exhibits her work at her eponymous gallery.

 

Susan Swartz Studios Winter Recap

Susan Swartz has had a busy and exciting year, highlighted by the opening of her eponymous art gallery.  

Susan Swartz Studios, located at 260 Main Street, Park City, officially opened its doors on February 9th.  It features paintings spanning the past 15 years of Swartz’s career –- her signature aspen works as well as her new, modern abstract pieces. The gallery has received much praise and has helped further Swartz’s reputation.  It provides a beautiful and tranquil space for contemplative appreciation of Swartz’s relation with her art and the natural world.

This past February, Swartz participated in the 2016 Winter Art Salon at the Deer Valley Montage, a fundraiser to benefit the Kimball Art Center.  Swartz’s most recent work was displayed, and Swartz had the opportunity to discuss her art and career with event attendees during an intimate Q+A session with Robin Marrouche, the Executive Director of the Kimball Art Center.

In conjunction with the June Park City Gallery Stroll, Susan Swartz Studios will present a new collection of paintings from Swartz’s most recent work.  More information about this “opening” night will be announced.  Be sure to visit the gallery this summer to see these new works before they tour in Swartz’s 2016–2017 worldwide exhibitions to the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Hungary; Yuan Museum in Beijing, China; Ludwig Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; and the new Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California at Davis.

 

Photos from the gallery open can be found here.

Photos from the 2016 Winter Art Salon can be found here