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SUZAN BATU's
New Paintings

STATEMENT

The artists I relate to first and foremost and from the beginning are minimalist painters such as Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelly; and from a laterera Roy Lichtenstein to name a few. My paintings are informed by a Pop sensibility: lava lamps, op-art, vinyl, the colors used for formica and home decoration, and the almost garish color that was all the rage in the sixties and fifties when I was growing up. These are all ideas I incorporate into my work.

 

Through my paintings I try to express and also instill in the viewer a feeling of vertiginous exuberance by using optically charged colors in combination with swirling arabesques hinting at more traditional sensibilities like Islamic decorative art. The fragile and delicate nature of the arabesques done freehand very meticulously are played off against the industrial strength of the colors I use. The effect is mesmerizing and almost hypnotic as the vibrations of the colors themselves are echoed in the rhythmic curves of the arabesques. We are lured unexpectedly into an ancient dance that propels us swirling into the future.

 

A REVIEW
By James Kalm

Eastern and Western cultures exist like giant tectonic plates, constantly shifting, pushing, and receding. One of the areas that lies on this great fault line is Turkey. On the cusp of Europe and Asia, the impact of both Occidental and Oriental provides for a rich environment from which to draw inspiration as well as comparison. Suzan Batu’s recent paintings, like her native Turkey, are also full of influence and impulses that display the juxtapositions and balance of these diverse cultures. After twenty years in the U.S., Batu’s sources have grown to include cartoons and Minimalism as well as post 60s psychedelic graphics and fabric design.


The artist, who has received a certain acclaim for her use of nontraditional materials such as fabric pom-poms, patterned plastic shelf lining, and glitter, has decided with this show to return to more fundamental means.I think that there is a purity when you use only color. I want to focus on the forms as well as the vibration between the colors," said Batu during a recent conversation. Indeed the latest works are reduced even further to only two of three hues per composition. Color harmonies that push towards high intensities with out becoming garish enhance elliptical shapes, broad undulating lines, and whiplash curves.


Nostalgia for the 70s has developed recently in pop culture, and there may be a hint of retro fashion in the eye jarring colors, as well as the globular shapes reminiscent of something seen in a "Lava Lamp". Having originally experienced these things from a different perspective, Batu’s new pictures may be both sincere without becoming melancholic, and humorous without being cynical.


(NY ARTS, Vol.4 No:12, on Suzan Batu's Jeffrey Coploff exhibition, December 2 1997, January 8 1998)


SUZAN BATU BIOGRAPHY PAGE

SuzanBatu@aol.com

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by Bircan ÜNVER. March-April 2000, New York.