BAC: Lawson, in his article “Last Exit: Painting,” believes artists can be more than just a “plagiaristic stylist” and that paint is the most abused medium to this end. He says “it is a question of faith that is central and that the practice of art is inevitably crippled by the suspension of faith. And that artists seeking originality have resorted to themes of sarcasm at best irony as the modis aperandum and rather than liberating can be considered repressive. Lawson says “Radical artists are now faced with a choice– despair or the last exit: painting.”
I chose the latter. Explain how your paintings fit in the current world of painting and would they have had a place in the 1981 according to the text?
Susan Fink: The current world of paintings is as diverse in style and subject matter as it was in the 80’s. Abstraction and non-objective themes have endured until today and are prevalent in my most recent work. I explore the possibilities of using altered and juxtaposed geometric shapes to render a composition that invites the viewer’s interpretation, but it is always just beyond one’s grasp. The compositions are rather poetic in that there is rhythmic order and balance, but yet obscure in many ways.
Color abounds as did much of the work from 1981, but my work does not remake old themes, mock artists work who came before or use sarcasm or iron as Larson points to when he wrote “Last Exit: Painting.” Yes, I have found a way to “resuscitate abstraction” as he puts it, but with new meaning and purpose. I have also given up some of the “conventions”, as Larson suggested artist could do, by not adhering to the standard principals and elements of design.
Please describe your artwork style.
Non-objective form of abstraction would best describe my artwork style.
What’s your background?
With a Bachelor of Arts degree as a Fine Art major and numerous workshops since, I
have had a lifelong career in the arts. I started as a Graphic Designer and Art
Director then transitioned to being a Fine Artist and an Art Educator.
How long have you been an artist?
I have been a Fine Artist for 25 years.
Who or what are your biggest influences?
20th Century artists such as Rothko and Frankenthaler with their sensitivity to color,
Motherwell and Kline for their bold use of line and form and Kandinsky for his
detailed use of line and shape in his compositions have influenced my work.
How have you developed your career?
I have developed my career by showing my work in galleries and online art websites, having my own website, entering numerous juried art competitions and showing in art catalogs and magazines.
Which current art world trends are you following?
To name a couple, I am interested in the current trend towards recognition and acceptance of
diverse artists in the art world, as opposed to a domination of white male
artists. I also follow the growing trend towards the use of technology in art,
whether it be used as a tool in the art-making process or incorporating the physical
parts of computers in 3-D art, for example.
Where do you create your work?
I create my work in my home studio.
What do you feel is the role of the artist in society?
The role of the artist in society is multifaceted. Artists raise social consciousness about
the moral, social, psychological and political issues that face us today. Other
artists bring attention to the beauty on our earth. All of this comes down to the most important role, which is for the artist and viewer to have a dialog or connection
through art, sometimes on a subconscious level as with abstract art.
What techniques / mediums do you use?
I use mostly acrylic paint on canvas.
Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed?
Both subject and the method of execution are equally important.
How do you feel when you are letting your emotions loose on the canvas?
Letting emotions loose on the canvas is allowing yourself to be vulnerable to the viewer
because you are exposing a part of your inner self. All artists do this, as we
share our own unique style, vision and methods of art making.
What project are you working on now?
I have been working with the basic shapes –the circle, rectangle, square, oval, triangle
and variations thereof for over a decade. For me, it started when I attended a
lecture where the speaker discussed the underlying meaning of these shapes
throughout millennia and across all cultures. I have since sought to make that
connection with my viewers- that is, for them to feel something more primal and
Any current or up-coming exhibitions?
Currently my work can be viewed on my website, Saatchi Art and this website Artists Info.
Where do you find your ideas for your work?
Ideas come from contemplation and then extrapolation of previous works or from a shape or
other element I want to explore more.
Is there an artwork you are most proud of? Why?
I am most pleased with my very recent work because there is a sense of dialog between the
elements that I believe translates into a more meaningful experience for the viewer.
How do you know when a work is finished?
The work is finished when I can view it in peace.
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Good lighting is essential.
Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why?
That’s like asking an artist what his or her favorite color is. If I had to choose, I would say that it’s “line” because it is the most expressive element and is the primary element used to translate a
thought to a visual form.
See more of Susan’s art at: www.susanfink.com