hidell brooks does not take for granted the joy each new exhibition brings to us. even though the excitement of changing a show is entangled with the labor of designing the invitation, taking down the previous exhibition, prepping the walls, laying out the new work, hanging, and then the actual opening night. somewhere in between we work with collectors near and far placing the artwork in wonderful collections. we get especially excited when it is an artist's first solo exhibition with us as is the case with lost & in paradise new paintings by north carolina artist susan mcalister. hidell brooks has been following susan's work for years and we have fallen in love with her atmospheric landscapes. susan views her paintings as a continuum of time, a timeline where past, present and future collide.
‘lost & in paradise’ is rooted in a love of land and attraction to beauty. through the genre of landscape, i explore what it means to be human in this exquisite, unpredictable world. having grown up among rural virginia’s views and vistas, i’ve always identified with places where tamed sophistication intersects with wild, tangled nature.
i am interested in challenging the viewer’s sense of place and time by combining the imagined and the real, abstraction and representation. what starts as a place just beyond the fence line unfolds into a moment in a metaphorical paradise. i introduce human presence, at first unseen, through abstract form and fleshy color. matisse, gauguin, and cecily brown are constant inspirations.
the materials are central to each painting. i combine layers of paint, wax, marble dust, dirt and graphite to simultaneously construct and deconstruct. i have an affinity for mark-making and the freedom of the abstract expressionists. i allow each work to resolve at different levels of abstraction with the ultimate goal of luring the viewer into a personal sense of place and experience.
the artist resides in charlotte, nc. she also spends time in south carolina’s low country, virginia’s hunt country and montana’s ruby river valley.--susan mcalister, 2015
susan mcalister received her ba from davidson college and has been painting for over 30 years. her lush, often abstracted landscapes are evocative and powerful explorations of her quest for places and things that nurture and inspire. susan applies multiple layers of paint, wax, marble dust and graphite combined to simultaneously construct and deconstruct. her smaller works in the exhibition incorporate dirt mixed in with her paint to bring the actually landscape to the canvas. when starting a new painting susan brings to mind an idea of a place or places but leaves the painting open for the view to translate to their own. abstraction amidst the representation through thick luscious oil paint. lost & in paradise transcends the viewer to a place of beauty.
mountains, gardens & private rooms new collages by arless day and lost & in paradise new paintings by susan mcalister opens friday september 11th from 6-8 pm. arless and susan will give a joint artist's talk at 7 pm sharp. please call the gallery if you have any questions.