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Susan Daboll & Susan Mayr, Breathing Spaces

Allen Gallery
547 West 27th Street, 5th Floor, 917-202-3206
November 20 - December 10, 2008
Reception: Thursday, November 20, 6 - 8 PM
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The Allen Gallery is pleased to present Breathing Spaces, an exhibition of works by Susan Daboll & Susan Mayr. Breathing Spaces is an exhibition of two artists’ similar approach to different medium. Each artist work creates a sense of freedom with strength. Susan Daboll

Susan Daboll received her BFA from Syracuse University and went on to receiver her MA from NYU and the International Center of Photography. She taught at NYU from 1987-2001. For the past ten years she has been living part of the year in Greece on the island of Paros. Her experiences during the Greek winters have greatly influenced her work.

“This Winter feeling exuberant with all of the bright green luxuriousness around me, I set out to describe that feeling in images, both in paint and through photography. I made a few false starts until one day, in total frustration, I stopped and really thought about what it was that I was trying to express. I realized that I wasn’t interested in landscape as scene, but rather in trying to put down a feeling of being inside of all of that revelry and abundance, of being enveloped by nature. I took my camera to a nearby field and started to photograph the random juxtapositions of flowers and vegetation, thinking about scale and point of view. By working very closely within nature, I was able to see what was before me in much more detail. This close looking has allowed for images that feel almost fantastical in nature, as if entering a world known, but not quite, a sublime world where all co-exists within the indifference of nature.”

Susan Mayr most recently received a residency at the Platte Clove Artists-in-Residence, Platte Clove, New York and the Art At The Bridge Residency, West Cornwall, Connecticut. Below is her artist statement about her work in Breathing Spaces.

“This series exhibition at Allen gallery in particular, allows me to be an illusionist, to create my own place, to invent my own reality and tell stories about what I’ve seen. Except for intermittent sojourns in the country, I have almost always been an urban dweller longing for mountains, forests and seas. Each encounter with nature has to be treasured, memorized and relentlessly recalled. Oil paint, with the luminosity of glazes, the rich color and the possibility of applying layer after layer, is my medium. Each layer, even if it is scraped or wiped away or covered, retains its own memory. That memory is of a certain place and the countless attempts to define that place sensually. Those memories are bent in form and color until the paint speaks its language and I can listen.

It is an arduous process for me and it is often years before a painting seems right. I usually have a dozen paintings hanging in my studio, waiting for the moment. It is like walking in the woods. Sometimes I wander for hours or days without an event that calls me. Then, all of the sudden, there is a bear, an eerie green light, a hawk’s shadow, a spider web, or the smell of snow. They are there all along, but when there is a certain congruence, an appearance, smell, a touch of wind, the effect of light, the scene becomes preternatural. It doesn’t last long, maybe a second, just before the conscious mind catches up. It is imprinted in the memory with all the senses, a vision.

It is exciting that there is no question of what subject to paint; it has to be the vision. What is difficult is trying to interpret that vision, to reconcile the heights and profundity of that split second with the limits of paint and canvas and the preoccupations of everyday life. It is only when I am engaged in painting, whether it is going well or not, that I feel reconciled to my whole being.”

Susan Daboll and Susan Mayr’s exhibtion opens Thursday, November 20th and extends through December 10th.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcal-8464 to see them here.