Susan Greenstein: “In a New Light”
April 17 - May 19, 2019
Opening reception: Thursday, April 18, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Brooklyn, NY —440 Gallery is pleased to present In a New Light, an exhibition of new works on paper by Susan Greenstein. For her fifth show at the gallery, Greenstein presents a vibrant pattern and light-filled series that has been in development for two years and includes watercolors, oil pastels and sketchbooks. These pieces reflect Greenstein’s love of recording and interpreting the world around her that she encounters while traveling within her own city of New York or, most recently, while discovering new locales in Italy and Mexico.
Working in a plein air method with watercolor or in a sketchbook, Greenstein allows the immediate environment to directly influence her painting and drawing. She travels with an efficient, portable studio and sets up onsite to create beautifully fluid landscapes that capture the essence of a location. Making the watercolor “Trastevere,” she fell in love with the late-morning scene in this distinctive Roman quartiere. Strong shadows slanting from the salmon-colored buildings zigzagged through the narrow streets; a yellow bike and turquoise-green door appealed to her sense of color play. Working quickly to render the elusive Italian light, Greenstein jumped directly to paint without any preliminary drawing. Susan applied layers of watery glazes, followed by brushstrokes of saturated colors, to form a glowing composition filled with plant life and architectural textures. We see and feel Susan’s playful, joyous response to being able to sit for a few hours immersed in painting such a fascinating place.
In “Anghiari Garden,” Susan brings her travel experiences back home to the studio and explores different methods and materials to capture the allure of Tuscany. She introduces oil pastels, thickly applied to sandpaper-like paper, to create a rich, velvety surface that enhances her color palette. Brights contrasting against neutrals—these are essential components of her observations of the Tuscan countryside. Patterns formed by brick and stone, architectural lines of structures, fluttering leaves in the breeze, all complete the picture that Susan creates of this special region that she plans to return to soon.
Susan Greenstein is a graduate of Pratt Institute and Queens College, and has attended programs at Art New England, Bennington College and Maine College of Art’s Feed Your Soul. Her work can be found in private collections across the US, and she has exhibited extensively in New York City, New Hampshire and at the Delaware Fine Arts Museum. She directs the Young Artist program at 440 Gallery. As an art educator, Susan has influenced and mentored many young artists at Brooklyn Friends School and Studio in a School. She lives and works in Brooklyn, N
In the Project Space: “Still Time”
Richard Barnet’s works on paper are energetic statements that are an outcome of his strong emotional responses to the complexities of the world today. In the three drawings and watercolors that he is showing, Richard allows his attitudes toward global ecological destruction, the current state of politics in our country, the blatant cruelty of racism, to come across in work that is constructed out of sadness and outrage. Yet, through imaginative and colorful imagery, Barnet permits us to have an optimistic insight into his mind: private metaphors (“Sweenyism”), sculptures as objects to play in, and a persistent will to find hope within the craziness of everyday life.
Karen Gibbons makes artwork that is inspired by her personal explorations. She says, “My outer explorations are satisfied by my love of nature and travel and are continually integrated with inner explorations through yoga and meditation.” Karen is showing three pieces, each produced using a combination of collage, paint and drawing techniques. Gibbons’s specific, concrete imagery is both ethereal and engaging. The viewer initially sees an overall impression and is then drawn in deeper by the paradox of materials and pictorial elements that the artist manipulates in surprising and intimate ways.
For her first piece in the project space as a member-artist of 440 Gallery, Doris Rodriguez is showing “Rachel,” a large-scale figurative triptych. Rodriguez’s work often portrays political and social commentary; her multi-media painting portrays a young girl on the cusp of womanhood, before she is molded to societal expectations. Says Doris, “I met Rachel while visiting my hometown of Santiago in the Dominican Republic. Rachel walked in to talk to her mother and I could see the love and bond that they shared. I painted her as I saw her: sweet, free and innocent; learning to be independent and making her own choices.” Each masonite panel measures 30” x 30” and is created with copper leaf, photo transfer and acrylic paint.