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Photo Credit: Richard Walker Photography

Susan Roth, a self-described non-objective painter, offers challenging eccentric outer profiles in many of the paintings in her exhibition BLACK IS A COLOR. The fourteen acrylic paintings exhibited range in date from 1982 through 2019, and trace her unique and individual approach to the shaping of the canvas as it responds to the compositional elements within. Roth takes full advantage of the range of acrylic paints and mediums and had the opportunity to work closely with Sam Golden, the founder of Golden Artist Colors, to create new acrylic products. Her paintings contain collaged canvas elements as well as the low relief provided by the acrylic paints.

A Roth painting can have wildly demanding outer shapes that resemble the state boundaries, or they can be subtle trapezoids, or, though infrequently, conventional rectangles. Her choice of shape, whether extreme or adhering to recognizable rectangles, is generated by a wide range of non-traditional applications of paint. Roth’s paint is tactile, hyper-materialized, implying the dynamics of carving and modeling. Surface contrast abounds. Folded and bunched canvas, saturated with medium, are the billowing sleeves and gowns of sixteenth-century Venetian paintings made real.

The title ‘BLACK IS A COLOR‘ reprises that of the post-World War 2 inaugural exhibition held in 1946 at Galerie Maeght in Paris entitled ‘le Noir est une Couleur’. Susan Roth has held close the idea of that exhibition as being one of the touchstones of Modernism. Apropos of the title: ‘BLACK IS A COLOR’, Roth has used saturated black paint in her paintings as a through-line for the emphasis of drawing in her working method.

BLACK IS A COLOR by Susan Roth is on view at Sam & Adele Golden Gallery (188 Bell Road, New Berlin, NY) through March 13, 2020.

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