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Susan Kraut


In this series of work, Chicago artist Susan Kraut presents still life paintings initially inspired by her recent time spent in Oxford, England. While continuing to explore still life themes that have been present in her work for a few years, this recent series reveals a shift away from efforts to accurately record subtle landscape views over her object-laden window sill. Instead, we are invited to participate in her memory of the dramatic skies and clouds she witnessed during her Autumn stay in Oxford. Says Kraut, "Between the dark, purplish-grays of heavy, foreboding rain clouds, an intense orange beam of raking sunlight might sometimes break through, illuminating the still-life objects on my windowsills like spotlights on a theater stage. The light changed so quickly; I was forced more than ever to rely on my memory of how this light felt."

In these paintings, Kraut takes liberties with the "reality" of the scene, inventing still life arrangements and compositions that may not have ever existed. Yet, through her observation and understanding of how light interacts with the physical objects before her, and her mastery in rendering the phenomena, Kraut slows down time for the viewer, and creates a palpable sense of place. Says Kraut" I carried the quinces, figs and berries that I had found on a recent trip through Provence, back to England, piled them on the windowsills of my second-floor flat; I added to them the leaves, berries and pods I found on my walks through Oxford. Of course, the fruit began to rot and shrivel, and the leaves began to dry and curl. The paintings became in part a document of their decay, a perfect complement to the swiftness of the changes in the skies and seasons.


Oxford Still Life I, 2010, oil on linen, 26x30


Oxford Still Life II, 2010, oil on linen, 26x30


Oxford Still Life III, 2010, oil on linen, 26x30


Oxford Still Life IV, 2010, oil on linen, 26x30


Oxford Still Life V, 2010, oil on linen, 26x30


Oxford Still Life VI, 2010, oil on linen, 26x30


Oxford Still Life VII, 2010, oil on linen, 26x30


Oxford Still Life VIII, 2010, oil on panel, 26x30


Oxford Still Life IX, 2010, oil on panel, 20x36 SOLD


Oxford Still Life X, 2010, oil on linen, 26x30 SOLD


Oxford Still Life XI, 2010, oil on linen, 26x30


Oxford Still Life XII, 2010, oil on panel, 26x30


Oxford Still Life XIII, 2010, oil on linen, 26x30


View more available work by Susan Kraut



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