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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

Beijing Opening__1__L1001309.jpg

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.  

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.

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 Budapest Solo Exhibition to Open December 9, 2016

Susan Swartz Studios is thrilled to announce the upcoming solo exhibition of Personal Path at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Hungary.  The exhibition will open Friday, December 9th.  Works from previous Personal Path exhibitions as well as some of Swartz’s newest paintings will be featured.

The Ludwig Museum in Budapest marks the third installment of Swartz’s Personal Path exhibition.  Previously, Personal Path has toured at the Kollegienkirche in Salzburg, Austria and the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz, Germany.  Each new venue provides a visual iteration of Swartz’s past work interspersed with her latest creations.  Thus, each new space becomes a progression in Swartz’s growth and “personal path” as an artist.

The Ludwig Museum in Budapest displays modern and contemporary art, with a focus on Eastern and Central European, including Hungarian art from the 60s to 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, among others.  In addition, the museum showcases leading artists of the international scene and will feature Susan Swartz in this latest show that will run through February 2017.

Additional information on Personal Path at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Hungary will be forthcoming.