Special “Eye” to Watch
June Mattingly // contributing art writer

Susie Rosmarin + Liz Ward
show at Dunn and Brown Contemporary
through December 18

Houston-based Susie Rosmarin’s show “New Work”, includes small, medium
and large scale vibrating acrylic abstract paintings and Liz Ward’s show
“Deep Time” consists of small, medium and large watercolors, intricate
silver point drawings and a 40-foot long hand-painted scroll.
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Rosmarin received a BA from the University of St. Thomas in Houston and an MFA at
Pratt Institute in New York. The permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art,
the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
own her pieces.

Currently her painting is in the DMA’s present exhibit “Re-Seeing the Contemporary:
Selected form the Collection” discerningly curated by Jeffrey Grove, the Senior
Curator of Contemporary Art. Susie’s piece hangs with icons such as Jackson
Pollock and Gerhard Richter “celebrating the rich holdings that form the core
collection of modern and contemporary art.”   
Houston-based Susie Rosmarin’s show “New Work” is her inaugural exhibit with
Dunn and Brown Contemporary. Included are small, medium and large scale vibrating
acrylic abstract paintings.  

Susie’s paintings literally light up and move in sync from their private space on the
canvas. The perception of light exudes or jumps out from tight linear overlapping
patterns designed in brilliant, clearly defined color combinations and sharp,
synchronized glowing white backgrounds.   
Twelve years ago I photographed (along with 90 fervent birdwatchers in one overnight
camp site and from a small ship over a nine-day period) disappearing almost in front
of my eyes, six species of penguins, albatrosses, dolphins, elephant seals and on and
on. In this magnificent scenery, never to be out of my visual memory regally stood
devastated glaciers and even more sadly, overpopulated cruise ships in the foreground.
Antarctica awed and inspired me. This unforgettable trip will always make me wonder
why our world glosses over one of history’s worst environmental disasters coupled with
the BP oil catastrophe and on and on.

The soft, subtle and sensual abstract images in Liz’s work represent glaciers and ice
cores (an ice shows climate conditions over 800,000 years of collected dust, volcanic
ash, small meteorites, and  even traces of nuclear testing,) through complimentary
shades of luminous under-watery beauty - blues, greens and greys on white
backgrounds. The titles such as Glacial Ghost, Melt Lake, Greenland and
Kilimanjaro reference locations where ice cores are extracted; one work’s title,
Epica stands for European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica.   

Susie’s exacting and skillful method of executing the overlapping grids is inspired
by fractal geometry and the Op Art movement in the 1960s. Her complicated
mathematical formula is based on each layer of the color pattern arrangement
being taped, painted, waited on to dry and repeated. A series of ten small
paintings depict contrasting color combinations from the color wheel, such
as Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, and Blue-Violet.  Another work uses variations
on three colors such as  Red-Violet-Yellow within the painting.           
Liz Ward’s show “Deep Time” in Dunn and Brown’s front gallery consists of small,
medium and large watercolors, intricate silverpoint drawings and a 40-fot long hand-
painted scroll. Deep down in the beautifully drawn and conceived surfaces of these
pieces is a loud and clear message particularly close to my heart. Liz is addressing
the “alarming imperilment of ice phenomena in the Antarctica.”
Glacial Ghost II
Liz lives in San Antonio; she received her MFA from the University of Houston in 1990.  
In 1998, her one-person at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston was entitled
“Liz Ward: The Present of Past Things.” Her work is in permanent collections including
the Whitney, Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Austin Museum of Art. She is in
the corporate collections of Sewell Automotive Companies and American Airlines.