There is perhaps no image which is more confrontational than the nude human. Contemplating the nude, our fears and desires are laid bare and we are triggered to consider the full spectrum of the human condition. I have always been fascinated by the classical theme of the nude in landscape, how artists though out the centuries have chosen to represent our intimate connection with nature and how these choices reflected their epoch.
Certainly no representation of the nude in landscape in the 21st century can escape conveying our extreme estrangement from nature, whether this is the artists´ intention or not. There is an unavoidable strangeness or feeling of dislocation which envelopes the most sincere attempt at harmony. This strangeness is a reflection of the lack of balance between man and nature which characterizes contemporary life. How absurd man seems stripped of his possessions, how weak and anonymous he is lacking all of his identity crutches and yet what strength is gained in the clarity and beauty of his form when we perceive him abstractly, not as an individual but as a phenomenon of nature.
My experimentation with modernizing the nude in landscape takes place within a framework of tension between these two poles of self-perception, between the pathetic-dislocated and the healthy-unified.
Aesthetically my work maintains a strong tie to the long tradition of the painted nude as an art form through the use of classical painting techniques . My process however, which includes photographing my models in real natural situations and working from the photos as well as incorporating often "snapshot" compositions, binds me clearly to the modern. The traditional mediums which I use, oil painting and drawing, underscore the ancient character of my subject. For me, the hand must explore the human form and all form with brushes, pencils and chalk in order to gain insight into its true nature, the hand subscribes what the eye perceives and the mind interprets. Only through this slow form of meditation on the subject, do I come closer to its core. Photography is a very useful tool in my work, but I always need to remove this mechanical third party in order to achieve complete confrontation with my subject.
born: 1964, New York, New York
New York University, BS, 1986
SEHNAP, Scholarship Award for Painting, New York University 1982
AW Year in Review Finalist, International Competition, New York, 2012
The Monmouth Museum, 1st Place Juror Award, New Jersey, 2011
Artist Window Kunstwettbewerb,1st Place Award, Berlin, Germany
Creative Quarterly CQ26, Best of Art and Design, Charles Hively, New York, N.Y. 2012
INPA 2-International Painting Annual, Manifest Press, Cincinnati, 2012
Art Profil, Erik Buchheister, "Susannah Martin- Spiegelung des Menschen" April 2010
Saatchi Magazine, " Behind the Canvas, Interview with Susannah Martin" June 2011
selected solo or two-person exhibits
"Susannah Martin- New Works" Galerie Stephan Stumpf, München, Germany 2012
"Susannah Martin- Kinder und Andere Menschen " Galerie Bartel, Frankfurt , Germany 2009
selected group shows
Galerie Stephan Stumpf, " Figurative Malerei", München, Germany 2012
Dacia Gallery, " Reflections", New York, N.Y., U.S.A. 2012
Gallery Fishpiece, "Morgeluft und schöne Maitli", Zürich, Switzerland 2011
Galerie Marzia Frozen, " Gross-Berlin 2011" Berlin, Germany 2011