Susan Parish at Autobody Fine Art Reception for Susan Parish, Saturday January 28th, 4 – 7:00pm

Please join us for the Reception for the Artist, Susan Parish, as we kick off the 2012 season of Exhibitions at Autobody Fine Art. Susan’s one woman show is a wonderful mix of highly refined, formal sculpture, and bright and exuberant digital prints. The prints will knock your socks off with
their vibrant color and the sculpture is a thoughtful meditation on the figurative. Still, Susan says it way better than I do, so I’m copying her statement below to give you an idea of where she is coming from:

The Digital drawings are a result of two issues. One, is that as I am working on the sculpture, I get “stuck” because my process is slow either because of technical difficulties or because of the piece working itself through my brain. So, I alternate between drawing, which is easy, and working with wood, which is really hard. The second issue is that of color, my personal need for color in contrast to the muted tones of wood.
Last August I decided I would do a drawing every day first thing in the morning so the drawings are sort of a diary of my internal states. In both the sculpture and the drawings I am interested in the shape of experience. Yet I don’t preplan anything and only at the end of the struggle to make something do I realize what I am doing. By working this way the work remains fresh and unselfconscious. When I relinquished pre-concepts entirely, I found my way. Much to my surprise the drawings reflected the sculpture.
I use Photoshop only. I like bumping up against its technical edges and using these edges to step further into its use. I don’t care about pixilated or non pixilated. The limitations are what make it interesting for me, so I am working with what are considered the defaults of technology. As I work I approach the images as if I were doing a painting: putting in, taking out etc. I have been asked how I start a drawing, I do it much as one would a painting, i.e. starting with a ground and building from there. In the end, I really couldn’t say how I did any of these drawings because they are the end product of multiple gestures within the Photoshop experience.
The Sculpture evolves from single pieces of wood, this and that that I have laying around. For the past year or so I have been struggling to figure out how to effectively use wine barrel staves. These are problematic because they have so many angles and I really want to use them whole. More than 10 years ago I purchased Ebony pieces ultimately intended for piano keys but rejected as not having the right aspects for such. I use Ebony and Oak and other hard woods, Doug Fir, Plywood etc. I want the pieces to appear as if they accidentally found themselves together. All in all I have no interest in perfection because Nature itself is chaotic and messy but has an order for which scientists, philosophers and mediums search.
This attraction to primitive is about the succinctness of form and expression. Primitive art says what it says and nothing else. It is made of emotion and instinct.
Both my digital drawings and sculpture have to do with animal spirit, not in the sense of cat dog or tiger but rather all animals. We are at the root animals. We share longings, fears, love, and a drive towards sexual expression with other sentient beings.
In my work I try to express sensations of fear, pain, and the human need to comprehend the future, trying hard to look ahead through chaos (uncertainty) which greets us every day. Or the need to believe in the illusion of order and certainty.

Susan Parish is a long time resident of Jingletown (that’s the area just across the Park Street Bridge which has long been a hot bed of creative talent). Parish is a master woodworker, her intimate understanding of surface, structure and stain show through her sculptural works that frequently reflect her past as a Fine Art furniture maker. These works have a Noguchi-like complexity, confusing your expectations with every deliberate turn and aesthetic consideration. In addition to these three dimensional pieces, Parish offers us wonderfully colorful giclee prints whose expressive, yet controlled quality seems a meditation on Lichtenstein’s brushstrokes and pop cluture pzazz. When I first saw these works I was completely unprepared for how beautiful they are. If you have known Susan’s work in the past, please come expecting big changes, – if you are new to the work of this ever-evolving artist come and be impressed with a life’s dedication to the visual arts.

For more images and information, please contact Jacqueline Cooper at Jacqueline@autobodyfineart, or give me a buzz at 510.881.6974. I look forward to talking with you as we begin a dialogue that will define 2012.
Thanks so very much for reading this e-mail and remember to look in your e-mail inbox for more news as it develops over the next month. Autobody Fine Art Gallery is your space and I look forward to hearing from you as we enter an exciting New Year.

Autobody Fine Art Gallery  |  510-881-6974  |  1517 Park Street, Alameda, CA 94501


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