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

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

"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.

 

Personal Path Exhibition Closes After 10-Week Run

Susan Swartz and Dr. Beate Reifenscheid, the Director of the Ludwig Museum

Susan Swartz and Dr. Beate Reifenscheid, the Director of the Ludwig Museum

Susan Swartz’s exhibition, Personal Path, at the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz, Germany closed August 2 after a 10-week run.  The museum reported a record number of visitors who came to see the show. 

Personal Path paints a beautiful history of Swartz’s artistic career, drawing emphasis to the artist’s desire to maintain equilibrium between concrete images and the imagination.  This balancing act was evident throughout the exhibition. 

As the exhibition title suggests, the show reflects Swartz’s personal path.  Swartz has progressed from being a more reserved artist to one who is unafraid to take risks and is willing to relinquish control to her desire and imagination.  As exhibition curator, Professor Dr. Dieter Ronte writes in his essay Abstraction as a Personal Path, “Swartz withdraws from the received idea that art is the imitation of nature.”  It is with this realization and freedom that Swartz’s artwork has been able to reach a new form of maturation.   

German publications covered the exhibition as well as the Park City, Utah based publications Mountain Express Magazine and Park Record.

A beautiful catalog of the exhibition is available upon request.  All artwork from the show is for sale.  Please contact the studio for more information. 

Swartz would like to thank all who helped make this exhibition possible.  In particular: Walter Smerling and Stiftung für Kunst & Kultur; Dr. Dieter Ronte; Dr. Beate Reifenscheid; the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz, Germany; Christine Rackey; Rene Freund; the Springville Museum of Art; and the Utah Museum of Fine Art. 

Swartz’s work will be featured at the Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair this November.  In February, her work will appear at the Kimball Art Center’s Winter Art Salon at the Montage Hotel in Park City, Utah.   Additional information about these two shows will be available in the following months.