A glimpse into some of my earliest artwork…
Over the last months, I have been getting my art studio set up and in the process, started to organize and chronicle my artwork into stages.
In light of this framework, I will introduce you to some of my first paintings. The following four works date back to a period prior to my undergraduate studies. These were done between 1988 and 1991.
36″ x 24″
48″ x 72″
The next five paintings were done right after graduate school in 2001-2003, following a long interval of time when I was pursuing work in other fields and had not yet come to the realization that I was becoming an artist.
48″ x 72″
30″ x 24″
All the paintings were done with acrylic paint on an average canvas size of 36″ x 48″ (unless noted otherwise.)
Following is a commentary written by John Mendelsohn considering the artwork from these years.
- [John Mendelsohn is an Artist, Art critic for ArtNet, Cover Magazine, Internet Magazine and The Jewish Week]
When we get so close to an experience that we no longer know its name, it loses some of its fixed identity, and we lose some of ours. This magical transaction is at the heart of the paintings of Lorien Suarez. She focuses her attention on the forms of growing things, drawing so near that their essential natures begin to emerge clearly. The process is no less mysterious for its painterly directness.
In two contrasting yet related bodies of work, a sense of movement flows through the paintings, both defining form and creating currents of visual energy. In both series, the viewer is immersed in realms of animated color that are both abstract and highly specific. Together, the series constitute a response to the natural world that is personal and passionate, embracing the visible and the emotive as two aspects of a single phenomenon.
One series of paintings is ephemeral, light-filled, and buoyant. Suarez layers translucent acrylic paint in sweeping arcs and branching lines, to suggest the leaves of a palm tree and the play of water. These paintings have a radiance, as if we are looking through atmospheres gently glowing with color. Even with the lightness of their gestural brush strokes, these paintings have a structural clarity, a kind of organic architecture coalescing from fluid space.
A second series of paintings is pulsating, floral, and vivid in color. Here nature is lavish and joyous, ragged and raw. The forms range from flame-like leaves and spiky tendrils to many petaled blossoms. In this work, Suarez acknowledges the influence of Delaunay and Kandinsky, who as young painters were similarly fired by nature’s sweet wildness. These paintings vibrate with echoing, wave-like patterns, and with color chords of increasing intensity, red with purple-blue, turquoise with yellow-green.
In the two series, we are presented with seemingly opposed visions, the transcendent and the sensuous. Rather than confronting us with a duality, the painter seems to want us to notice that, like spirit and body, these two qualities inhabit a single world that lives equally in nature and in our own true selves.