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Opening: Susan Lichtman - Partly Sunny

  • Gross McCleaf Gallery 127 South 16th Street Philadelphia, PA, 19102 United States (map)

January 5 - 27, 2018

Opening Reception:  

Friday, January 5, 5-7 pm.


Shards of light are fickle visitors: they arrive unexpectedly, moving across bodies and the sturdy planes of a built environment. Bright spots might settle as simple geometry or as swarming flecks. For me, they make the familiar feel new.Susan Lichtman  


Susan Lichtman has always been a painter of the domestic. Her home is the setting for unexpected visual dramas which are populated with the interactions of family members, guests, pets, and even imaginary figures. Unwilling to limit herself to one way of looking, Lichtman's paintings are composite constructions informed by diverse sources ranging from her drawings from direct observation, her own photographs, and even photographs she finds in magazines. With the combination of these sources, Lichtman's work has a quality of both being natural and staged; both experienced and imagined. 


Lichtman draws inspiration from 17th century genre painters and Post-Impressionists including Bonnard and Vuillard whose paintings of domestic interiors transcend the subject matter that they depict. Her work also pays homage to Edward Hopper and Fairfield Porter. Lichtman looks to these two American artists as peers seeking to utilize "a representational language [that] can put forth abstract visual elements... that supersede the experience of mere straight-forward realist depiction". This intention becomes apparent in the visual tension between what has been painted and how it has been painted.  


Lichtman embraces the concept of slow painting. She does not start with a preconceived idea of the final appearance of any given painting. Instead, she introduces elements organically as the artist works her way around a canvas building a visual, spatial, and environmental logic. Lichtman follows her own pictorial and narrative curiosities in order to see where a primary shape or subject will take her.  Similarly, a viewer should be prepared to do a bit of exploring as her works slowly unfold and reveal her unexpected domestic narratives. 


Susan Lichtman received her BA from Brown University and her MFA from Yale. She has been a professor of art at Brandeis University since 1980. Her work has been shown widely in galleries and institutions along the East Coast, most recently at the Steven Harvey Fine Arts Projects in NYC. This is her second solo exhibition with Gross McCleaf.