Susan Grossman: Urban Light

Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery
Feb 1, 2019 1:23AM

Ahead, 2019

Turning, 2019

Shadow, 2019

Approach, 2019

Drawn with charcoal, chalk and pastel, these engagingly complex images are the most recent iteration of the artist’s interest in the ever-changing light and shadow play that amplifies the pulse of city life within the imposing architecture.

Using a restricted palette of black, white, and grays, punctuated by an occasional dash of primary color, Susan Grossman's drawings recall classic film noir. She finds compelling subjects and locations by crisscrossing the city and taking numerous photographs. Once in the studio, Grossman, like William Kentridge, begins to draw and then obsessively shifts her narrative world away from her sources. She re-positions buildings and vehicles while adding and subtracting characters to achieve the final cut. The physicality of her process is crucial to achieve the "just happened" feel of her work. The contrary is also true, over time her use of charcoal and pastel has become increasingly painterly.

As art critic Phyllis Braff has said about Grossman's work, "like many effective metaphors, the work invites multiple readings. Its intentional ambiguity is underscored by faceless, generalized figures and by an open, non-specific narrative. Much implied, yet nothing is resolved, lending a compelling sense of edginess.'

Susan Grossman graduated from Bennington College and received he MFA from Brooklyn College. Ms. Grossman has taught at Wesleyan University, the City College of New York, and the National Academy of Design School, and maintains a studio in Brooklyn. Her work can be found in numerous private and public collections throughout the United States, including the Mint Museum in North Carolina, the New York Historical Society, and numerous one-person exhibitions in New York City and around the United States.

Kim Eagles-Smith, San Francisco CA

Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery