Susan Shade

Berkeley, California, United States

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ag_artist_id : 68738
ag_updated_at : 2022-06-03 00:11:37 UTC
ag_city : Berkeley
ag_region : California, United States
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ag_website : susanshade.com
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ag_artist_statement : My paintings provide a sense of escapism, for both the viewer and myself, as I create them. Each of us will find our own meaning, image, idea, and emotion. That is what I love about my abstract expressions. They change. They evolve. They may never look the same way twice. I focus on color, gestures, markings, and energy. My current body of work is optimistic, created during the past year, a time filled with overwhelming darkness and uncertainty for all of us. During this time, it was important for me to have an outlet of hope. My paintings are the manifestation of this hope. I don't always know where they will take me, but the journey is thrilling and constantly evolving. It is my desire to share optimism and my love for art through an ever-developing body of work.
ag_biography : Susan grew up in Pennsylvania, where she studied textile design and later moved to New York City with her career focus in fabric and apparel. She has a love for texture, color, and surfaces; this is where her interest began in translating these ideas onto canvas. She has been painting for many years, but most recently has immersed herself in her art, creating large scale abstract explorations utilizing a bold palette. She loves how colors interact and evolve as new layers are applied, further transformed by the scraping, blending and rebuilding of the surface. The physical act of painting is what she loves most, along with the excitement of discovery found in the unpredictability of her painting techniques. Susan lives in Berkeley, CA, after living in San Francisco for a decade. There she became immersed in the North Beach neighborhood, with its artistic community and history. In 2019, she had her first opportunities to show her paintings in a group show at Vesuvio Cafe and participate in shows at a neighborhood studio. In 2020 the iconic Live Worms Gallery reopened its doors, providing the community with an art space, to escape and find respite. There, Susan participated in two more group shows. Her paintings have been extremely well received, and she is now working on several commissions, as well as upcoming shows, both at Live Worms Gallery, and as part of North Beach First Fridays.
ag_influences : From my earliest memories, my mom was a huge creative influence for me. She painted everything in our home! Rooms were always changing color - walls, furniture, kitchen cabinets; the joke was that if you sat still too long, you would be painted, too. My bedroom was constantly filled with striped walls, bright colors, and joy. There were always paint brushes drying on the edge of the kitchen sink. In later years, when painting became more of a focus and my style was emerging, I found the most inspiration from Gerhard Richter's abstracts, and the color fields of Mark Rothko. I saw a Rothko exhibit at the Whitney in NY in 1998 and it changed me. I've never been so moved by art as I had from that experience. His work was palpable; a truly physical reaction was felt, and I knew that I had to make painting an important part of my life.
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ag_priority : 100
ag_featured_artist : false
ag_artist_firstname : Susan
ag_artist_lastname : Shade
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