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

Susan Swartz Dazzles Art Lovers at the Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair

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.

Susan Swartz at the Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair

Eastern Energy, 48x48in, 2015

We are pleased to announce Susan Swartz’s participation in the Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair this November.  Galerie Edition Purrmann will show four of Susan’s paintings in its booth at this prestigious venue.

Contemporary Istanbul is the region’s premier international art fair.  This year, the fair encompasses more than 100 galleries from 24 countries across the world.  Contemporary Istanbul attracts both local and international attention to the region’s growing art scene.  In recent years, Istanbul has become a hub for contemporary art.

Galerie Edition Purrmann was founded by Sven Purrmann in 1994.  It represents numerous notable artists including Guldenstern, Andreas Lutherer, Michael Kmoth, Jochen Pankrath – and now Susan Swartz.  Galerie Edition Purrmann has participated in numerous art fairs throughout the world.  Most recently, the gallery exhibited at Art Fair Cologne and Art Karlsruhe.

As a collection, these exhibited paintings show Susan’s continued growth within the field of abstract painting.  Joy appears chaotic with its intense texture and varied colors, but one only has to look deeper to discover a sensation of spirituality and peacefulness.  Bhutan September, with its predominantly green canvas, transmits the feeling of serenity that is often associated with nature.  Contemplation in Square 2, from Susan’s Contemplation Series, is again a softer painting that prompts inner reflection.  On the other hand, the vivid red, yellow, and orange of Eastern Energy radiate a fiery spirit that precariously balances between chaos and order.  In all these paintings, the viewer is encouraged to contemplate the varying emotions and tensions apparent in abstract art, particularly in these four works.

The Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair will be held from November 12 through November 15, 2015. 

Additional information about Susan’s artwork at Contemporary Istanbul can be found here.

The Bhutan Series

Rice Fields and Prayer Flags 

Rice Fields and Prayer Flags 

The Bhutan Series is a new set of paintings inspired by Susan’s recent trip to Bhutan, the land of Gross National Happiness. Focusing on native vibrant colors, The Bhutan Series explores the region’s landscape, in particular its rare confluence of spirituality and natural beauty. The Series contains five pieces, several referencing the ubiquitous prayer flags that seem to spring naturally from the Bhutanese landscape. With similar brushstrokes of whites and vivid colors, the prayer flags pop and move as if blown by the wind, and these contrasting colors produce a sense of unity between Bhutan’s natural splendor and the flags’ man-made material.   The relationship between the environment and Happiness shows just how intertwined are human life and nature.  Similarly the strength and emotion of Susan’s work reflect the tension she sees between the beauty of nature and the pain it has caused her.  In Bhutan, Susan was reminded of the softer, more loving and spiritual side of nature.  

The largest painting in the Bhutan Series, Rice Fields and Prayer Flags (48 x 72), shows the richness of the Bhutanese countryside, recalling rice paddies and forested mountainside.

Prayers Over Rice Fields

Prayers Over Rice Fields

In Prayers Over Rice Fields (20 x 20) the blowing prayer flags span the diagonal of the canvas, emphasizing the force of the wind.  

Prayers Afloat

Prayers Afloat

Using the prayer flags as a connector, Susan, in Prayers Afloat, depicts the interaction between these materials and the sky.  The softer contrast alludes to a greater spirituality and reinforces the natural relationship between the prayer flags and the Bhutanese countryside.



Joy (36 x 48) uses varied colors with an emphasis on red hues.  The superficial layers of Joy seem chaotic, but look deeper to discover a sensation of spirituality and peacefulness. 

Bhutan September

Bhutan September

Bhutan September (48 x 48), with its softer tones and abstracted images of tress, offers yet another perspective of the Bhutanese landscape.  Various shades of greens and whites invoke a soft, warm, and inviting feeling, alluding to the peace and happiness nature provides. 

For Susan, painting is her release, another form of spirituality.  Her work and process of connecting spirituality and nature takes to heart the ideals of Gross National Happiness.