Distillation 1965-2005 offers a summary, or rather a sketch of the main concepts and techniques that the mixed-media artist Skuodas has explored during her long and distinguished career. For the past four decades, Skuodas has been producing paintings, collages, drawings and artist’s books that are at the same time abstract and figurative as well as personal and universal, a subtle contrast emphasized in her latest series of works. In 1990, when writing about Skuodas’ paintings, Donald Kuspit states: “
Whatever suffering the figure [in Skuodas’ paintings] may signify, it does so largely through the tense way it formally interacts with the rest of the picture, which is essentially geometrical …
In his catalogue essay for the Distillation 1965-2005, Edward Gomez offers the following reading:
... ultimately, [Skuodas] seems to want her art to bear witness to the power of such inexpressible phenomena as what she calls cosmic connectedness (an all-encompassing, universal spirit that flows through and unites all Creation) or the enduring tug of war between good and evil. “I’m interested in the forces that sensitize or desensitize us to the world around us, and in those that nurture us or cause a sense of deprivation,” Skuodas observes. She adds: “I’m also interested in cause and effect, and I acknowledge what I call nature’s laws of limits. I want to know why cruelty exists, and what the forces are that cause it to manifest itself.
Born in Lithuania during World War II, Skuodas lived for six years in a displaced-persons camp in West Germany before coming to the United States in 1949. She became a U.S. citizen in 1961 and earned a B.A. and M.A. at Northern Illinois University in the mid-1960s. She has taught at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and Oberlin College. She lives and works in Oberlin, Ohio.