My paintings are reimaginings of my accumulated memories and observations. I work to create layers of meaning and explore the complexities with which we perceive the world. In our contemporary experience we are bombarded with a barrage of images. I work to represent a perceptual reality from this montage of imagery--snapshots mitigated by memory and the light that illuminates it all.
For years I have been taking photographic notes and collecting imagery that serves as a collective library of subjects to draw upon when creating paintings and collages. When I work, I often weave together images from sometimes completely different sources or perhaps intertwine multiple perspectives of the same place. I collage the photos digitally or with scissors and glue, creating composites that I paint from. The synthesis may be subtle or presented as an open dialogue as in a diptych. This conversation between imagery is at the center of my work. There is no formula.
I develop a bond with my subjects, often creating a series of works based on the same place or structure. I attach meaning to the inanimate world, houses become bystanders to a drama of sorts, as I try to elevate suburban landscapes into psychological portraits.
Though I operate out of an American Realist tradition I also draw upon aesthetic inventions from Surrealism and Pop Art--all artists who represent the ordinary in extraordinary ways. Figuration, the object, and the perception of the world can be presented in infinite ways. I continue to interpret and represent my world view in an ever-evolving process.
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence R.I.
New York University, New York, NY; B.S. cum laude in fine arts
Hunter College, New York, NY; M.A. Painting
Pace University, Pleasantville, NY; Advanced Certificate in Art Education
Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts, New York, NY; summer workshop
School of Visual Arts, New York, NY; Portfolio Development Program
New York University Artist Apprentice Program; H.N. Han artist mentor
New York University Graduate Extension Program; Don Eddy artist mentor
Aspects and Ambiguities of Contemporary Realism, Thesis (M.A.)--City University of New York Hunter College. Interview with Chuck Close annotated in appendix.
BAU Gallery, Time, Annual Juried Fine Art Exhibition, Juror Elizabeth Heskin , Beacon NY, 2020
The Painting Center, Ensemble: Together Again, online exhibition ARTSY, New York NY, 2020
Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, Stay Home Make Art, curated by Anna Conlon, online exhibition New Paltz NY, 2020
Azarian McCullough Art Gallery, Sparkill, NY, 2020
Historic 1928 Anna Bisland House, Bronxville NY, Transformative Light, Real & Imagined (solo) 2019
Somers Art Gallery, Somers NY, (solo), 2019
Art Show Bedford , Bedford NY (invitational), 2018
Volition Gallery, BELLans Center for the Creative Arts, Orangeburg NY, 2018
Riverarts Studio Tour, Brieff Studios, Tarrytown NY, 2018
Union Art Center, Sparkhill NY, 2018
Edward Hopper Museum & Art Center, Nyack, NY, Small Matters of Great Importance, Annual Juried Small Works Show. Juror: Michelle Donnelly, Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 2017
Ceres Gallery, 12th Annual Juried Exhibition, New York, NY. Juror Carmen del Valle Hermo, Assistant Curator for Collections at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY, 2016
Martin Stankiewicz Gallery, Tarrytown NY, Susan Barrett Paintings (solo), 2015
Edward Hopper Museum & Art Center, Nyack, NY, 2014
Hennesey House, Susan Barrett Paintings, (solo) Tarrytown NY, 2011
Fitzgerald Gallery, Susan Barrett Paintings, (solo) Tarrytown NY, 2009 and 2005
Red Wing Gallery, Tarrytown , NY, 2007
Pelham Art Center, Pelham NY, 2001
Scarborough Gallery, Susan Barrett Paintings, (solo) NY, 1995 and 97
Organization of Independent Artists, New York NY 1986
Washington Square East Gallery, New York NY 1985
Brooklyn Federal Courthouse, Brooklyn NY 1984
Inroads Gallery, Susan Barrett Paintings, (solo) New York NY, 1984 and 86
Hunter College Gallery, New York NY 1983
Art Workshops, Extension Programs & Art Education for children and adults.
Pelham Art Center
Intervillage Art Workshop; Portchester, Hastings, Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, Scarsdale
Westchester Public Library Systems
Public Schools, tenured: 1999-present
Curriculum Design, Project Development, Interdisciplinary Curricula, Grant Writing, Differentiation for Special Needs
Barrett explores the ordinary and ways it can be transformed by both light and the juxtaposition of objects and situations. She reacts to her environment, internalizing the objects she focuses on. The work comes from a synthesis of these subjects, as they exist and as she imagines them. The light transforms reality, suggesting a sense of an extended moment in time as the viewer visually travels through the work.
For years Barrett has been taking photographic notes and collecting imagery that serves as a collective library of subjects to draw upon when creating acrylic paintings, watercolors, drawings and collages. A lifelong resident of the Hudson Valley, many of the structures she adopts come from the riverside or the river towns where she discovered them. When Barrett works, she is often weaving together images from sometimes completely different sources or perhaps intertwining multiple perspectives of the same place. Barrett collages the photos digitally or with scissors and glue, creating composites that she paints from. The synthesis may be subtle or presented as an open dialogue as in a diptych. This conversation between imagery and the light that reveals it is at the center of Barrett’s work.
Barrett did her undergraduate work at Rhode Island School of Design and New York University. She then received an M.A. in painting from Hunter College as well as a degree in art education. She has exhibited throughout the New York metropolitan area in both galleries and institutions and has been teaching for 25 years. Most recently, she had a solo exhibition at the Anna Bisland Historic 1928 House in Bronxville, was included in “Time, “ a curated group show at BAU Gallery, Beacon; and her work is currently part of a virtual group show at The Painting Center, “Ensemble: Together Again” https://www.artsy.net/show/the-painting-center-ensemble-together-againBarrett’s work can be found in numerous private collections.