Returning for her third solo exhibition at Marcia Wood Gallery, Susanna Starr's latest eye-popping fluorescent wall sculptures vibrate with a hallucinogenic glow as they penetrate the physical environment with surprising physicality for work of such ethereal delicacy.
Susanna Starr is known for her sculptures and hybrids of sculpture and painting that employ a range of material. From sponges saturated with gallons of paint, to painted, cut and layered mylar, to delicate wall works of wood veneer with designs meticulously cut out, Starr's practice employs a talent for translating materials in unexpected ways. Hallmarks of her works are an exploration of formal issues of medium and process, a witty sense of play, and a carefully balanced tension resulting from the contradictory use of material.
The upcoming exhibition, Hyperglo, is the latest iteration of the artist's ongoing physical exploration of color. Working in the fragile space between painting and sculpture, Starr seemingly suspends paint in mid-air, enabling color to inhabit form. The sculptures are formed of layered and painted cut outs of mylar, using images of vintage lace doilies as color skeletons. Entirely hand-cut out of Mylar, multiple slightly translucent sheets both absorb and reflect color - glowing and shifting as the viewer moves around them. Like an absorbent sponge, the open pores of the lace crete space for the color to move and change, creating a delicate 'peek-a-boo' game of transformation. Alluring and secretive, the pulsing color creates the effect that these pieces are both appearing and disappearing at the same time. In a NYFA Magazine article on Starr, Stacey Gottleib describes the artist's process as "Mylar offered a way of working with pigment in its purest form, each sheet like a single brushstroke of paint, layers of which, when hung together in her trademark, cunningly calculated tones, also opened up a previously unseen, inner dimension to the work."
Susanna Starr lives and works in New York City. Starr earned a BFA in sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art, an MFA in sculpture at Yale, and has studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Starr has received numerous awards including an Edward F. Albee Foundation Residency, Montauk, NY, and a NY Foundation for the Arts, Artist's Fellowship Grant. In 2010 she was awarded a commission for permanent artwork by the New York MTA Arts for Transit. Starr has exhibited in museums, art centers and galleries across the U.S. including Museum of Contemporary Art, Fort Collins, CO (solo), Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, NM (solo), Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY, Dieu Donne papermill, NYC, White Columns, NYC, Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL., Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ, Islip Art Museum, Islip, NY, Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, CD, and Visual Arts Gallery, University of Alabama, Birminghan, Alabama. Susanna Starr has been written about extensively in publications including Art in America, Art Review, The New York Times, NY Arts Magazine, and New Art Examiner among others. Her work is in the collections of Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY, Moelis & Company NYC, NY and the Art in Embassies Program, US Department of State.