Susan Chrysler White has been developing large glass and Plexiglas sculptural pieces. In researching how her paintings, through their vocabulary of excess, have a connection with historical and contemporary manifestations of the chandelier, White became interested in exploring these associations. Baroque sculptural and architectural forms as well as art nouveau and late gothic filigree, all enter into her language of form.
In recent paintings, Susan Chrysler White has explored the use of a bilateral Rorschach-like image. Using enamel paints as her primary medium, she creates a vocabulary of small, organically-inspired figures. Presented on a painted field, these emblems are at once anatomical and spiritual as they slip back and forth between references to the body and images of Buddhas and Virgins of Guadalupe. The images can also become botanical, insect-like or mutations of some hybrid futuristic organism. These equivocal figures mark the precarious intersection between her intentions and the unique constellation of responses brought to the work by the viewer. The controlling objective for her work is to press further into the exploration of the boundaries between the decorative impulse and the much darker, emotional, philosophical sources. She has been exploring a synthetic, high gloss, vibrating, densely packed surface in which the color functions as a seductive, alluring phenomenon that pulls you into imagery that houses the darker stuff.
Born in California, White lived many years in Madrid, Spain, New York, Philadelphia, Rome, Italy and since 2000, Iowa City, Iowa. Growing up in Spain, with the hybridized eclectic sensibilities of Antoni Gaudi as a visual force in her early life, led to the collision in her work of nature, spiritual tendencies, and 3D form. The exploration of light, space, transparency, bilateral symmetry, and calligraphic drawing all play a part in her recent sculpture. Medusa, a 2013 piece, refers to the natural form of oceanic medusae as well as to its complex mythological origin.
White has had numerous exhibitions throughout the US. She has a 2014 exhibit scheduled at the McNay Art Museum in Texas, and recently completed several large 3D commissions at the University of Iowa Hospital. A 2009 recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant, White is on the painting faculty at the University of Iowa.
SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden NJ
American Embassy in Algeria, Algiers
Citicorp, New York, NY
Hewlett-Packard Corporation, Palo Alto, CA
The Prudential Insurance Company of America, New York, NY
Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City, IA 2011
Meniscus Medical Communications, Philadelphia, PA
Kirkwood Community College, Conference Center, Cedar Rapids, IA, 2009
University of Iowa Foundation, Iowa City, IA 2002
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA
Physicians Clinic of Iowa, St Lukes Hospital, Cedar Rapids, IA, 2013
Cedar Rapids Convention Center
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