Clash Curatorial Statement
September 2011

“Each piece is a battle.”
--Suzanne MacRury

Sometimes the best point of entry into an artist’s body of work is made easier by the simple act of referring to the dictionary to remind you the meaning of words you think you already know. This rings especially true when considering planes of abstraction (as is the case with many art styles and forms), where viewers are unsure of where to begin, or how to appreciate such work. Suzanne MacRury hands us a wonderful clue on a platter by calling this exhibition “Clash”, for which the dictionary has graciously offered us, “to come together or collide, especially noisily” . This definition can certainly be taken at face value to describe MacRury’s work: painterly marks and lines that cut through her panels meet often in graceful aggression. However, “to clash” also speaks directly about how MacRury works. Though employing a visual medium, ``clash`` gives sound to the mental energy required for MacRury’s process.

Presented here then is not only a display of MacRury’s latest work, but also the latest contest between the artist and that muse, characterized by a style equally informed by her medium as much as her mind. Her work features the continued exploration and experimentation of stroke and texture, colour and technique, of artist caught in a love-hate battle with the medium that is also her muse: resin. The exhibition showcases varied instances of clash in every panel. Sometimes it is directly visual--the flash of red that pops up so often in this particular series, interrupting the expanses of black and white, like a spark being struck between two different tinders. Other times, the clash is more esoteric—a painting can never be considered complete by the artist until she has hit the emotional milestone of `hating` the work before she realizes it’s a sign that she is almost there. At all times, however, it is the resin itself that brings together all of MacRury`s clashes, transforming through its thick transparency, her carefully thought-out colours and contours reveal more and more layers of tone, depth, space and `spark`. Through the abstractions unique ability to remain objectively subjective, MacRury`s resin paintings are both attractive in execution and abound with emotional technicalities—that is the impact of the thought process on the materiality and tangibility of the work—that inform her art.

With a rich tradition of artistic experimentation to support the artist’s endeavours (with nods to the influences of Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock), MacRury invites viewers to look deeply into the picture plane, to `find what is there’, as is the age-old question of abstraction. However, what one sees is not so strictly beholden to what the artist has felt throughout the course of creation. Here then we get offered one more time to clash.

Maureen Da Silva