Interview with Susan Fink by the Bakehouse Art Center, July 2015March 29, 2020
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.