Light is the source for my work. Past work includes installations focused on daylight, light and shadow, and light seen at night, as well as light sculpture. This work has led to paintings which also respond to light through the use of color and surface. Interference paint can look quiet, almost grayed out, from one angle, while showing bright glowing color from another angle, reflecting light differently as the viewer changes angle. Often a light-absorbing surface will be juxtaposed with a reflective surface, both using the same color to different effect, such as a deep glossy green next to a softer iridescent green, or gold leaf next to gold paint, or umber over gold versus gold over umber. These paintings also combine multiple flat surfaces rather than one continuous plane, sometimes next to each other, sometimes on top of one another. While they are clearly paintings, these works also also extend out from the wall surface, emphasizing their objecthood as well as their contrasting surfaces.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Susan Chorpenning has shown her work in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Germany, San Francisco and Marfa, TX. From studies in CA, she moved to NY, living and working there for 20 years, but gladly returning to the golden light of Los Angeles in 2001. While in NY she not only showed her work, but participated in WAC, the Women’s Action Coalition, chairing the Art Action Committee in the 1990’s, flooding [terrifying] galleries with faxes suggesting they increase their representation of women, artists of color and LGBT artists (as they were called at the time), and compiling statistics on representation. She also chaired a panel at WCA previewing the National Museum of Women in the Arts, now established in Washington DC. Her work is owned by many institutions, including the San Diego Museum of Art, Kölnischer Kunstverein, San Diego Civic Art Collection, ART/OMI Foundation, Bonnier Collection, Stockholm, as well as many private collections.
Chorpenning’s main influences include the California light and her longtime meditation practice, as well as years spent in Berkeley and New York. Her theory has been that an artist can make work anywhere, as she has proved in artists’ residencies (Chinati, Wiesbaden, Art-Omi, Joshua Tree Highlands Artists Residency, and Camera Obscura, City of Santa Monica CA) and multiple on-site installations in Europe, NY and CA. She now works in a studio in Altadena, nestled into the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, using reflective light, paint, and whatever comes to hand.
© Susan Chorpenning