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Duende: Susan English and Elizabeth Gourlay




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Friday, 13 September 2019 to Saturday, 2 November 2019
Friday, 13 September 2019 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Kenise Barnes Fine Art is pleased to open the fall 2019 season with a two-person exhibition featuring new abstract paintings by Susan English and Elizabeth Gourlay.

Susan English’s work is inspired by observations of light in relation to objects and the way that it is refracted by wind or the surface of the water and how light streams through space and is absorbed in shadow. Guided by these observations, the artist slowly builds a surface that is both mysterious and atmospheric. This is accomplished by pouring numerous thin layers of tinted polymer onto the smooth surface of a prepared aluminum panel. English’s medium mimics water and soil, the many layers of polymer harden like ice or mud simultaneously revealing and obscuring the layers below. The polymer’s surface dries according to how thick or thin the layers are poured, tiny fissures, cracks and coagulations in the paint result from a delicate navigation between the artist’s control and the somewhat unpredictable material and method. English’s paintings range from matte to high gloss, the surfaces maintaining a perpetual dialogue with light and the position of the viewer.

English earned an MFA from Hunter College, New York, NY and BA from Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions throughout the United States. English received a fellowship at the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Ithaca, NY, and was artist in residence at Habitat for Artists, Garrison, NY. She lives and works in Cold Spring, NY.

Elizabeth Gourlay’s paintings are a meditation on form, line and color, they are a gradual yet progressive rumination leading to a vocabulary that has become increasingly complex throughout the artist’s career. The shapes Gourlay uses are found in the things she sees in everyday life or in

her studio; the shapes are used as is or they are transformed into their essential geometric form. The artist manipulates form, making minute changes in color, area, edge or orientation with the awareness that these subtle changes can enhance or destroy the viewer’s emotive response. Line continues to be at the core of Gourlay’s work. Whether making a collage, drawing, painting or print, lines remain important elements throughout every piece. In making the paintings, Gourlay shifts back and forth between emphasizing the geometry and color. The artist describes her color choices in this way: “One color may be seen or appear in my mind and grow to an association of two or up to six. I rarely use a large palette within one piece. I minimize the color palette instinctively to reduce variables, produce harmony and eliminate discordance. I may explore a broad range of colors and then reduce it to those I am most invested in.” The color choices in a painting’s ground are equally important to those of the field; many subtle arrangements active lines or subtle layers of colors are investigated in the ground.

Gourlay earned her MFA at Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT, and her BA from Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, Scotland. Her work has been shown extensively throughout the United States and she is the recipient of numerous residencies, fellowships and awards including Artist in Residence at the studio of Sol LeWitt in Spoleto, Italy. Gourlay’s work has been written about in The New Criterion, Painters’ Table and Gorky’s Granddaughter to name a few.

A link to the digital exhibition catalogue can be found on our website

Please contact the gallery for images, information or to arrange a preview of the exhibition.

We have a wide selection of paintings, drawings, prints and photographs to offer collectors and maintain an extensive inventory in our two galleries and warehouses. 

In-home or office consultations are complimentary.

Kenise Barnes, director:

Lani Holloway, associate director (Larchmont):

Marissa Vassallo, sales and administrative support (Larchmont):

Curator :

Venue ( Address ): 

1947 Palmer Ave, Larchmont, NY 10538

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