10 April 2011

Susan Post


Can you briefly describe what you do?

I try to find ways for paint to ‘behave’ rather than depict

What drives you to make work?

A sense that there are universal truths and a conviction that I can add to an understanding of them.

Can you tell me something of your day-to-day working practices?

I am fortunate to have a lovely studio in a cooperative not far from my home, where I spend between 0 and 10 hours per day -  probably 30 - 40 hours per week on average. Stretching and priming canvasses is a great way for me to enter into a productive frame of mind. When working out a composition I draw with pencil on graph paper or with ballpoint pen or Sharpie on sketch paper, and use gouaches to make color studies. Sometimes it is important to work out in advance the order in which I apply the colors, but generally I'm loose enough with what I'm doing that I can start a new painting without too much pressure, as the colors will shift in response to what's come before. If I get lucky I experience periods of concentration - intense and meditative - where I lose track of time.

How long have you been working in that way?

I went to graduate school about 5 years ago when my youngest child was almost out of high school, and since then have been able to work more consistently and without dividing my attention so much between home and studio.

Which artists have had the greatest affect on your work?

Elizabeth Murray was a visiting artist when I was an undergraduate at Princeton - I remember being encouraged by her example as an artist who was kind and caring and also a mother. My mentor in graduate school, Jodie Manasevit, provides me not only with spot-on critiques but is also a model of persistence and integrity. Other artists whose work I respond to include Joel Shapiro, Howard Hodgkin, Sean Scully, Jeff Wall, Agnes Martin, Lee Bontecou, Anne Truitt, Stephen Westfall, Jim Campbell, and Dan Walsh.

What, outside visual art, informs your practice?

My relationships with the people in my life have brought empathy, understanding and some wisdom that I hope informs my work.

How would you like people to engage with your work?

I hope that they will make the effort to see them in person so they can appreciate the surfaces directly, as participants - there are optical effects that can take time to experience. I also hope that viewers will respond to the language of the edges so that they can read the emotional content.

Have you seen anything recently that has made an impression?

In the opening sequence of the movie "I Am Love" (dir. Emma Recchi; starring Tilda Swinton) it suddenly becomes clear that what appeared to be a black-and-white pan of a wintry Milan is actually shot in full color. I loved that sensation of shifting perception and also how it draws attention to the fact that black and white are colors too.  

Do you have anything exciting on the horizon?

I will be exhibiting my most recent work in one of two concurrent solo shows at The Painting Center gallery in Chelsea, New York City, in February of 2012. Next week my woven line pieces will be part of a celebration of the environment of the outer shore of Cape Cod in Appearances: Provincetown Green Arts Festival


  1. Thanks for the interview.
    Wonderful work and I look forward to the Painting Center show to get a look in person!

  2. I would love to see that show in 2012 in New York ...