Susan Kirkman


Susan continues to experiment with both media and methods, and produces both figurative and abstract work.

Susan Kirkman


Newbury Weekly News Arts Review

In the bar Susan Kirkman shows acrylics, oils, prints and collage ‒ abstracted landscapes, still lives and flower studies ‒ showing until 1 February. She is an artist totally in control of her subject matter, technique, palette and approach; this is resolved work.

Here, too, there is a delight in colour: the artist can juxtapose colours harmoniously or create a more unsettling sense of objects within a frame. There is a crucial emphasis on drawing. Even the most abstracted forms are outlined, and in some work the drawing, as with Schiele, is as important as the colour added to the drawn composition. Flower Piece exemplifies this, yet has a freedom of execution.

Abstraction is pushed furthest in two landscapes, The Bourne and The Valley, both in the artist’s favoured, jewel-like turquoises. Downland, strongly horizontal, is marginally less abstracted, but utterly evocative of local landscape. The Tor (acrylic) ‒ a stack of strongly lit abstracted forms ‒ is a nod to Cezanne and to Cubism. So, too, are the small blocks of colour in Lone Tree; sometimes, as here, brushwork gives the impression of colour pulled across the surface, reminiscent of Richter.

Some prints are concerned solely with colour and form. An untitled monoprint, rich sea-blues and greens on black, is small and intense. Some recall Howard Hodgkin’s work, with abstracted sweeps of colour almost forming a frame within the frame. Still Life with Bottles (acrylic) has pleasing abstracted forms; the more representational Flowers and Teapot has a post-Impressionist feel.