About the work Suzanne says, “Some of the earliest examples of dovetail wood joinery are found in ancient Egyptian burials, places where body and spirit re-aligned and transformed. The hybrid characters in my work are similarly in states of flux, emerging from the unconscious and becoming something real, or exiting the limitations of the natural world and becoming new beings in new dreamscapes.”
The juxtaposition of paint and collage gives a sense of altered vision. This “collaged state of mind” – the dovetailing of the real and the surreal – is what Suzanne Sbarge looks for. Ever-present are the dualities of familiarity and otherworldliness, interior and exterior space, domesticity and freedom, sky and earth, real and imagined.
Opening Reception Friday, November 22, 2019 from 5 to 7pm.
Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.
—When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams
The artist leaves the arts administrator’s world of rational organized thought, retiring to her sacred nest where she spends the evening spinning secrets—strange surrealistic worlds inhabited by isolated dreams of Hieronymus Bosch conflated with the words of her grandfather and great grandfather, both scribal rabbis who passed down their love of mysticism to the cherished inheritor of their ageless knowledge.
Plant life, butterfly wings, iridescent pearls, sea creatures, land animals, and beautifully strange birds become the habitat for metaphors of fertility, regeneration, and both spiritual and sexual freedom. Suzanne Sbarge’s fascination with birds is inspired by the paradox between: “their freedom of flight and the stability of their domesticity.” The artist, through her acts of creation, undergoes a metamorphosis through divine agency, experiencing an awakening, an obsession, the hint of a tease, an ancient myth, an interrogation, a celebration of a life of hope in the midst of the chaos of the mediated world of nature—a world under increasing siege so poignantly revealed in Flood Song and Island.
Suzanne’s painted collages open doorways into the ambiguous space of the night: dreams brim with narrative probability yet remain resistant to literal interpretation. There are libraries of potential in a single image—the lyricism of worlds breaking apart to be restructured into new impossible possibilities, the lost physicality of paint and paper in our sterile digital age—memories and the songs of the birds. Music is important, a quiet reference to the self: the artist plays the accordion (a secret reveled) and married into musical royalty. The song continues.
I live with several of Suzanne’s collaged paintings; they haunt my nights and enrich my days like Margo Timmon’s lyrics, reminding me of connections that lie beneath the waves as rock becomes my anchor and bird becomes my dream, offering me endless skies to search for buried memories of art, experience, a shared passion for the desert and it’s ancient wisdom that draws us together through space and across time: I succumb to an alchemical longing.
Scientists have recently discovered a surprising super-massive black hole that estimates with great accuracy when starlight first filled our universe. On earth, we have always looked to the stars to find out where we are. Suzanne’s paintings speak to this searching. In Constellation 2, starlight cyclones through the tiny house and tunnels into the earth, providing a map for knowing where we are. Similarly, the figures in Clay Pigeon and Leopard II are bound to the map beneath their feet but look to the sky for a different kind of knowledge. Suzanne’s art reminds us indeed, that our world in all its mysteries is meant to be celebrated.
10 December 2017
A fantasticallly insightful cover story by Jennifer Levin appeared in the Pasatiempo (the Santa Fe New Mexican’s art publication) on December 1, 2017, in conjunction with the opening of her exhibition Meta/Morph at Turner Carroll. Levin details Suzanne Sbarge’s background as the daughter of Jewish refugees, on a Holocaust survivor. Sbarge’s grandfather and great grandfather were both rabbis, who infused her early life with an innately mystical quality. Sbarge takes her intuitive mysticism, as well as her profound study of Jungian archetypal psychology, into her artistic world. She applies this primal mystical consciousness to her collaged images of animals and humans, thereby presenting her belief that all living beings are intuitively connected. Sbarge makes a fascinating connection between our interconnected consciousness as humans with the consciousness of animals in her statement: “Animals are part of human consciousness. As we lose animals, we are losing parts of our own consciousness.”
You can read the full text of Levin’s fabulous article here.
1 December 2017
New Mexico artist Suzanne Sbarge has led a fascinating artistic life. Her mother’s family emigrated from France during World War II, ending up in a concentration camp on Martinique. She grew up in Connecticut, and went to college in New York. As an art curator and activist herself, Sbarge created the respected 516 ARTS gallery in Albuquerque, which regularly receives international attention for its exhibitions.
Suzanne’s own artistry is highly intellectual, curiously combined, and finely crafted, as is her life. She has created a “bestiary” of combined animal and human forms, collaged together from the materials of her own existence.
Suzanne Sbarge gallery talk date will be announced soon—stay tuned!
Opening Reception Friday, December 1, 2017 from 5 to 7pmSbarge 2017 Meta/Morph-press release
In a civilization where more than 51% of the population is female, yet 96% of exhibition space is given to men, it’s time for a change. In honor of National Women’s History Month and in celebration of uniquely brilliant female perspective, Turner Carroll features important women artists all month. Artists include an international roster including Nina Tichava, Raphaelle Goethals, Hung Liu, Squeak Carnwath, Karen Yank, Jamie Brunson, Mavis McClure, Jenny Abell, Suzanne Sbarge, Holly Roberts, and Brenda Zappitell.
Opening Reception Friday, March 10, 2017 from 5 to 7pm
[n.b. that this event takes place in Santa Fe]
Located at the Fashion Industry Gallery, adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art in the revitalized downtown arts district. Featuring new works by gallery artists Fausto Fernandez, Hung Liu, Squeak Carnwath, Drew Tal, Jamie Brunson, Rusty Scruby, Edward Lentsch, Wanxin Zhang, Suzanne Sbarge, Karen Yank, Scott Greene, Holly Roberts, and more! Fair hours are Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16 respectively, from 11am to 7pm, and Sunday, April 17 from 12pm to 6pm, with an opening preview gala Thursday, April 14.
A link to the Dallas Art Fair is here.
In the spirit of Forrest Gump’s assertion that “life is like a box of chocolates – you just never know what you’re going to get,” the Albuquerque Museum invited 2,000 people to visit 97 local artists’ studios over three consecutive Saturdays and pick their favorites.
The result is “Public Selects: a Crowdsourced Exhibition” with works from 12 studios by 13 artists in a sampler of media chosen by 1,100 respondents.
The winning artists are Jane Abrams, Timothy Cummings, Kristin Diener, Elizabeth Fritzsche, Thomas Christopher Haag, Ed Haddaway, Kei and Molly Textiles (Kei Tsuzuki and Molly Luethi), Jami Porter Lara, Orlando Leyba, Dennis Liberty, Suzanne Sbarge and Kevin Tolman.