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Suzanne Chamlin: Painting the Landscape and Other Views

April 12 - May 25, 2007

An exhibition of paintings and drawings by the artist Suzanne Chamlin is on view in the Thomas J. Walsh Gallery of Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts from April 12 through May 25, 2007. The show, titled: Suzanne Chamlin: Painting the Landscape and Other Views, features 60 pieces in the 1450 square. foot gallery, including 42 oil paintings, 13 ink and wash drawings on paper and 5 watercolors.

Walsh Art Gallery director Diana Mille, Ph.D., recently likened Chamlin's painting style to the Tonalism Movement of American painting of the late 19th century. She described the specific intrinsic quality the artist possesses succinctly: "Suzanne's paintings have an incredible tonalist sensibility which she makes contemporary through her unique aesthetic conversation with nature."

The pieces included in the exhibition are both current paintings as well as a variety of work from the past. A selection of her drawings in ink and ink washes on paper will also be exhibited.

Asked about her choices of subjects, Chamlin said, "I choose subjects that are of interest to me aesthetically." She continued, "A personal connection grows out of my process of discovery, both of the content and of the materials that I am using."

It is important to the artist to paint her landscapes on site. She will often return to the same site or to similar locations for another work. She states, "Working on site, I make discoveries that inform my paintings." And she explains, "Having visual information directly in front of me, informs my process of thinking and responding; it influences my decisions about color and shapes."

The softer palette she uses nowadays has developed over time. She added, "I can work on variations and the content of the painting becomes as much about color, as it does about the actual 'scene.'"

The exhibition's focus is on the artist's landscape pieces. The artist works in oil on canvas, ink and ink washes and in watercolor. Highlighted are pieces worked on in upstate New York, New York City, Virginia and Spain. For example, the oil Off of Route 22, (towards hillside) from 2001 was painted on location in upstate New York and Waterfall in oil from 2000 was painted in New York City. Also featured in the exhibition are a suite of recent still life paintings, 9 x 9" from 2003-2007. In addition, three early large oil paintings from the 1980's titled, April (6 x 8'), Figural Study in Red Green, Orange and Blue (66 x 76") and Self Portrait on 102nd Street, 60 x 60" are on display.

The direction of Chamlin's most recent work from 2007 including titles such as: Corner and Yard, Oil on Canvas (60 x 60"), Shed and Barbeque in Field, Oil on Canvas, (36 x 49"), Green and White, Oil on Canvas, (26 x 48"), Snow, Oil on Canvas, (36 x 49"), Winter, (36 x 48"), reflects a change in the artist's work. The softer more transparent palette is used to create scenes that include barns, sheds, cars and yards.

Two pieces from 2006, Lawn and Yard are atmospheric and the compositions reflect a more minimal approach to composition than Chamlin's pieces from 2000 and earlier. Current still life paintings on wood panel are of simple everyday objects such as a gift in Gift, or of a cup and ruler in Blue Cup and Ruler. The artist's interest in color and tone are apparent throughout the exhibition.

The ink and wash drawings and watercolors were created on location in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and are 26 x 40", and 22 x 30" in size. Washes of tone describe mountain views as well as barns and fields in the ink and wash drawings. In the watercolors, the washy surface and open handling of the washes, gives hints about subject, as tone and color dominate the page.

Chamlin's work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., The Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven and the Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City. She has had solo exhibitions at The Simon Gallery, Morristown, N.J. and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her paintings and drawings have been shown in group exhibitions at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, The Sideshow Gallery, Holland Tunnel Gallery, the Painting Center in New York City and the Jan Weiner Gallery in Kansas City.

Ms. Chamlin is Assistant Professor of Studio Art at Fairfield University and received her M.F.A. in Painting from Yale School of Art, Yale University, in 1989 and her B.A. from Barnard College in 1985. The Connecticut Post featured an article about the exhibition with 5 photos of paintings in the Accent Leisure section on April 10, 2007. .She is a recipient of residencies at the famed artist colony, Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain and the Edna St. Vincent Millay Colony.


(above: Suzanne Chamlin, Lily Pool, 24 x 24 inches, oil on canvas)


(above: Suzanne Chamlin, Off of Route 22 (towards hillside), 36 x 48 inches, oil on canvas)


(above: Suzanne Chamlin, Pool with Reflection & Fish, 24 x 24 inches, oil on canvas)


(above: Suzanne Chamlin, Rambling Barn, 14 x 34 inches, oil on canvas)


(above: Suzanne Chamlin, Waterfall, 24 x 24 inches, oil on canvas)

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