Suzanne Guppy: Poetic Moments

The Bowery Gallery is pleased to present Suzanne Guppy’s first exhibition of paintings at the gallery. The show runs October 3 – October 28, 2017

Guppy says this about her work: “The paintings are small, compressed, vignettes which capture ordinary moments that reveal something extraordinary.  Painted in the moment and on location they have an immediacy and a poignant, whimsical quality while maintaining a plastic awareness of the whole.”   Themes of grief and aging, play, work and relaxation are all interpreted with a quirky playfulness…

Blue Fairy in the Attic, oil on linen, 9 x 12, 2015

Blue Fairy in the Attic, oil on linen, 9 x 12”, 2015

Guppy says, “The underlying subject of my work is time:  it’s passage, the constant fluid movement of it, and the need to hold it still”.

Guppy - Floating, oil on canvas, 14 x 11, 2013

Floating, oil on canvas, 14 x 11″,  2014

“…Not time in an abstract sense but time observed in daily life”. Guppy states,” I am not interested in a literal representation of things but in the poetry found in the relationship between things”.  

Guppy - End of Summer Cookout

End of Summer Cook out, oil on canvas, 11 x 14”, 2013

Guppy describes her process as follows, “I compose as I paint.  This requires a prep time that is partly meditative and partly analytic. When I begin…I am working directly from life and paint quickly with precise but expressive brushwork. I let the image emerge while I improvise on elements from observation using a modernist painting sensibility.”

Evening Snow, oil on canvas, 14 x 11, 2014

Evening Snow, oil on canvas, 14 x 11”, 2014-2016.

Twirling Paint Brushes, oil on canvas, 10 x 14, 2013

Twirling Paint Brushes, oil on canvas, 10 x 14”, 2013

Guppy sites the American painters Albert York, Lois Dodd and Marsden Hartley as having an influence on her work as well as the French intimist painters, Vuillard and Bonnard.

Leaving the Beach, oil on canvas, 14 x 11, 2013

Leaving the Beach, oil on canvas, 14 x 11”,  2013-2016

Guppy states, “ I find myself creating images that try to embrace the moment and hold it still while capturing its transient nature.  The two pronged essence of painting – holding still, seeing the whole at once, while recording the passage of time through the painting process – is visible in my approach”.

The dynamic of a clear narrative weaves through many of her paintings which she says, “captures a memory or a feeling I want to preserve”.

Louie and Me Ready to Go, oil on canvas, 18 x 48, 2015 (1)

Louie and Me Ready to Go?, oil on canvas, 18 x 32”, 2015

Here is the story behind one painting. Guppy tells us, “ Louie was my French Bulldog – a companion and “familiar” to me ( in the sense of a witch’s familiar).   We were packing up and moving to an apartment. Louie couldn’t move with us. I was grieving and he was anxious. In the mirror image I painted him as part of myself – we join in the overlapping blue of my overalls and his body. Louie looks right, I look left. We’re not ready to part but we are trapped by time within the mirror.”

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Mom at 94, oil on canvas, 10 x 10”, 2013

 Guppy describes her painting as “Poetic snapshots of her life”.  She mentions the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost .  For this writer, the poet David Whyte also comes to mind.   He talks about the “conversational nature of reality”.   In his poem, Everythiing is Waiting for you,  the line, “Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity”   touches on the poetry that Guppy is offering to us in her beautiful paintings for this show.

***

 “Poetic Moments” runs concurrently with the Iris Osterman’s exhibit, “Cliff Walk”.

Show dates are October 3 – 28,  2017.   Opening reception,  Thursday October 5,  5 – 8 PM,

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BOWERY GALLERY 

530 West 25th street  4th floor

New York, NY 10001

Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 11-6 pm. For more information, call 646-230-6655

 

-DIANE DRESCHER

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