hidell brooks is opening solo exhibitions for susan mcalister and kate long stevenson this friday night september 8th. both southern artists have strong roots in the south and the southern landscape plays a central role in their work. susan mcalister was born in virginia and received her bfa from davidson college. her paintings speak to a love of the land and a concern for the spirit of place. jumping the fences a larger painting in the show is a homage to her childhood of memories made jumping the fences in the fields surrounding her home with her brother. susan's more abstract work is painted on site surrounded by trees in the quiet of the woods where she captures on canvas the essence of the forest. she can sense the natural patterns in nature and translate them onto canvas.
"my process involves going into the forested location and templating the patterns. i then layer paint and other media."
my work is rooted in a love of land and place.
the patterns and rhythms of nature continually inspire. color variations within a grass eld, shadows on a forest oor, shifting light across a valley. these patterns both delight and draw us deeper. everyday views become mythical environments where past, present and future collide. imagined combines with real, abstraction with representation.
each work seeks to highlight the hallowed nature of land and invoke a sense of land ethic. consider the ‘canopy’ paintings, which discuss our nation’s forests. these works are created out of reverence for nature’s ability to rejuvenate and replant. they are inspired by the peace and majesty found beneath woodland canopies. they are in remembrance of my father and time spent walking the ancient chestnut forest.
materials are central to these discussions. my work combines layers of paint, wax, graphite and other materials to simultaneously construct and deconstruct. i have an affinity for mark-making and the freedom of the abstract expressionists. each work resolves at varying levels of abstraction, with the ultimate goal of luring the viewer into a personal sense of place and time.
while i reside in charlotte, north carolina, i also consider south carolina’s low country, virginia’s hunt country and montana’s ruby river valley home.
-susan mcalister 2017
kate long stevenson
water and air
kate long stevenson was born and raised in north carolina. kate received her bfa from the university of the south. she lives and works in charleston, south carolina. water and air new paintings consist of both abstract and figurative paintings. one constant in her work is her gestural brushwork. vigorous application of paint and expressive brushwork is a characteristic within her work but it is the restraint she uses while painting that gives her work it's quality. her paintings have a presence that are both powerful and quiet. they are contemplative and your eyes will want to linger for a while.
water and air is a continuation of my exploration of both motion and the female figure. in the early stages of preparing for the show, i’d shift from a wild, saturated abstract to a very airy rendering of the figure. water and air—both at once chaotic, at once calming, blue and spatial, gestural and fluid, one ever influencing the other—emerged quickly as a common theme. it also allowed for a range of subjects: the energy of moving water beneath a frozen surface; pairs of swimmers in motion; women in open space; the space between every marking.
-kate long stevenson 2017
"it's important to me that my paintings have a subject, despite how non-subjective some can seem. with my nude paintings, the figure is the vehicle that invites you to discover the true subject: the elements--the way it was painted. the abstracts have just skipped that introduction, altogether, but they're still about something--music, tempo, motion and emotion. it all comes from a feeling, but then the challenge is not only to translate that to the canvas but to have it make sense, compositionally."
the opening reception with both artists is this friday night september 8th from 6- 8 pm. all available artwork is on the website under each artist's individual tabs. please call the gallery if you have any further questions.