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Elysium Flats_Suzanne Unrein

Suzanne Unrein, Slip at Sara Nightingale Gallery

Sara Nightingale Gallery is pleased to present,  opening Saturday, May 11th, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. The exhibition will be on view through June 3rd.

Suzanne Unrein grew up among swamps, alligators, mossy oaks and hundreds of varieties of birds in the coastal towns of Florida.  Her travels and encounters with animals in Mexico, South Africa, Borneo and Bali have contributed to her vibrant worlds where the animality of humans plays within a world of beasts. The drawings for Slip began at Unrein’s art residency in Can Serrat, El Bruc, Barcelona, Spain, in August of 2018 and have continued with her return to New York City.  In the drawings, Unrein moves away from the exuberant brushstrokes and vibrant color of the paintings. She calms down the motion and simplifies the palette to concentrate on the more psychological aspects of the work. Two large paintings inspired by the drawings will also be exhibited.

In Unrein’s words, “I frequently have dreams where I’m communing with wild animals.  I’ve been in the mouth of an alligator, hovered over by a koala bear, and held down by a lion.  The situations are usually on the edge of violence; yet in the dreams they are peaceful and familiar. I’ve traveled to Borneo looking for orangutans and visited a lion whisperer in South Africa who cavorts with lions and hyenas. One time in Bali a pair of macaque monkeys were using me as a jungle gym, periodically looking soulfully into my eyes as if to remind me that we are connected.  These encounters, real and imagined, feel the same as when I’m painting.  I’m hyper-alert, ecstatic, curious and wanting.  Wanting to dive into the painting, connect with the animal, connect to my animal self.  The experiences contribute to the paintings as if in a ritualistic dance.  The intensified action heightens the color.  The rhythm of the natural world moves the brush with aggressive, fleeting, methodical and fluid strokes.”


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