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

Susan Swartz featured at Melides Art, Portugal

Sandy Bowen, Geralyn Dreyfous, Miguel Carvalho, Susan Swartz, and Walter Smerling pictured at the Art Pavilion at Melides Art.

Sandy Bowen, Geralyn Dreyfous, Miguel Carvalho, Susan Swartz, and Walter Smerling pictured at the Art Pavilion at Melides Art.

Portugal is having a moment.  Since 2014 the country has been flourishing. It transcended tough economic times and now enjoys booming tourism, a recent cultural and culinary renaissance and an attractive political climate, drawing visitors there from around the world.  

With that vibrant setting as the backdrop, a visionary leader in Portugal's art/cultural ecosystem, Miguel Carvalho, has helped to fuel the nation's creative shift with his bold passion to bring together the best of art, architecture and design. The destination is Melides, one of the most beautiful places in Portugal where he's transforming a remote former eucalyptus farm over an hour from Lisbon into an artistic epicenter for art and design devotees called Melides Art. 

From its website melidesart.com, it's accurately described as a place “where art meets nature, a place where you can experience the powerful alchemy of art and nature in the wildly beautiful, utterly inspiring and glorious surroundings of the Alentejo coastal region. Set amidst a contemporary art park, thus providing a truly unique lifestyle concept, this residential project and art community is designed to be an innovative, creative, and international platform for some of the world’s most talented living modern artists.”

Artist Susan Swartz was honored to be invited as one of five exhibiting visual artists to participate in the groundbreaking kick off of the new Melides Art Pavilion designed by James Waterworth, SOHO House's former European Design Director.  The exclusive invite only launch took place on May 18 to coincide with Lisbon's prestigious annual contemporary Art Fair, ARCO 2019 which took place May 15 - 19. ARCO boasts an interesting mix of Portuguese and international artists drawing leaders in the European art world, writers, photographers and critics there to take part.

Melides Art held a progressive opening encompassing several successive events in one robust evening. It started with a sunset gathering at the new Art Pavilion to see the sculptures of Brooklyn artist Aaron King and a triptych by Susan Swartz entitled Natural Flux 101, 102 and 103.  

The crowd then made their way to Studio 6 for dinner and a chance to preview more works by Aaron King and artists Johannes Vanderbeek, Anabela Soares and Stephen G. Rhodes. After dinner the group was treated to a live art installation performance by artist Tony Cassanelli and the soulful gospel collective choir of Mozambique Khanimambo led by Selma Uamusse who urged the crowd to consider helping the flood victims of Mozambique.

The choir ensemble then led the crowd in a singing procession into Studio 4 to enjoy the installation of 40 original paintings by Susan Swartz and a concert by world class pianist Joao Ventura who performed the original music composition of Susan's art installation video Preserving Grace on a baby grand while the video was projected onto a 30 foot outdoor screen under the nearly full moon. Ventura’s musical achievements also include accompanying Madonna during her surprise performance at the 2018 Met Gala.

Portugal's beloved singer Jon Luz then surprised the crowd with a private concert at the end of the evening. All who were there gathered around the piano in delight to hear Luz accompanied by Joao Ventura collaboratively spark their creative magic. It was an ethereal experience and a beautiful moment in time set against the stunning landscape of Susan Swartz’s exhibition. 

We are pleased to share highlights of Susan's exhibition and her epic week in Portugal.

Read more about the bustling community at Melides Art in the Observador, Wall Street Journal, and in the forthcoming edition of Roof Magazine.

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.