The Rafius Fane Gallery is pleased to present “ON POINT”, a solo exhibition of drawings and paintings by Susan Schwalb. It is her first solo show in Boston area in 15 years. Schwalb’s primary medium for over 40 years has been the Renaissance technique of silverpoint and metalpoint drawing. Juxtaposing a wide variety of metals—silver, gold, brass, copper, platinum, pewter, bronze, and aluminum—she obtains soft shifts of tone and color. Narrowly spaced grids serve as a spatial context for irregular events on the surface that create a shimmer of light. Depth seems to emerge from works that feature multiple square units arranged in layers. Many of Schwalb’s works have musical titles, which evolved intuitively. In part this is because she lives with a composer, and loves music. In part it is because she is alert to the parallel between music and her work, both rooted in abstraction. With illusions of depth and the subtle play of points of brightness, her metalpoint drawings evoke an atmosphere of serenity, and testify to how straight lines can create movement and a visual sound.
Schwalb’s work has been exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally, including over 35 solo exhibitions. She was the only female, and one of just three living artists to be included in the recent history-making metalpoint exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns (2015); traveled to The British Museum, London). Her work is in major public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the National Gallery, Washington DC, The British Museum, London, the Museum of Fine Arts/Boston, The Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Kupferstichkabinett - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC, The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT and Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art.
In February 2018, a retrospective entitled “A Luminous Line: Forty Years of Metalpoint Drawing by Susan Schwalb” will be exhibited at the Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock.