440 Gallery is pleased to present In a New Light, an exhibition of new works on paper by Susan Greenstein. For her fifth show at the gallery, Greenstein presents a vibrant pattern and light-filled series that has been in development for two years and includes watercolors, oil pastels and sketchbooks. These pieces reflect Greenstein’s love of recording and interpreting the world around her that she encounters while traveling within her own city of New York or, most recently, while discovering new locales in Italy and Mexico.
Working in a plein air method with watercolor or in a sketchbook, Greenstein allows the immediate environment to directly influence her painting and drawing. She travels with an efficient, portable studio and sets up onsite to create beautifully fluid landscapes that capture the essence of a location. Making the watercolor Trastevere, she fell in love with the late-morning scene in this distinctive Roman quartiere. Strong shadows slanting from the salmon-colored buildings zigzagged through the narrow streets; a yellow bike and turquoise-green door appealed to her sense of color play. Working quickly to render the elusive Italian light, Greenstein jumped directly to paint without any preliminary drawing. Susan applied layers of watery glazes, followed by brushstrokes of saturated colors, to form a glowing composition filled with plant life and architectural textures. We see and feel Susan’s playful, joyous response to being able to sit for a few hours immersed in painting such a fascinating place.
In Anghiari Garden, Susan brings her travel experiences back home to the studio and explores different methods and materials to capture the allure of Tuscany. She introduces oil pastels, thickly applied to sandpaper-like paper, to create a rich, velvety surface that enhances her color palette. Brights contrasting against neutrals—these are essential components of her observations of the Tuscan countryside. Patterns formed by brick and stone, architectural lines of structures, fluttering leaves in the breeze, all complete the picture that Susan creates of this special region that she plans to return to soon.
Susan Greenstein is a graduate of Pratt Institute and Queens College, and has attended programs at Art New England, Bennington College and Maine College of Art’s Feed Your Soul. Her work can be found in private collections across the US, and she has exhibited extensively in New York City, New Hampshire and Delaware Fine Arts Museum. She directs the Young Artist program at 440 Gallery. As an art educator, Susan has influenced and mentored many young artists at Brooklyn Friends School and Studio in a School. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
There will be an artist's reception Thursday, April 18, 6-8 PM, and an artist's talk on Sunday, April 28, 4:40 PM