Opening this Saturday, The Way Things are Looking is a solo show by Suzannah Sinclair. Her work is so beautiful, it also doesn’t hurt that the girls she paints are in various stages of nudity.
Suzannah Sinclair returns to New Image for her second solo show, equipped with an arsenal of ethereal realist watercolors. Sinclair, who is known for her paintings of beautiful women in gently provocative poses, will show works of watercolor and pencil on various dimensions of birch panel. Together with Kime Buzzelli in the project room, “The Way Things Are Looking,” is a feminine force to be reckoned with.
The strength of the images derives from the artists’ unique and tender vision of the age-old subject of the female nude. Their poses evoke Tom Wesslemann’s seedy take and stylized realism from the 60s, yet hers are much softer still – it is no mistake that Wesslemann’s nudes are often devoid of eyes. Sinclair reverts back in time; like Ingres’ Odalisque, the viewer can admire the body, but is ultimately drawn in by the female’s gaze. And another Odalisque is brought forth from the depths of memory; of his haunting 1943 photograph, Horst P. Horst had said “I don’t know how I did it. I couldn’t repeat it. It was created by emotion.”
While Sinclair draws from vintage soft-core porn magazines, this is not the association that comes to mind upon gazing at these ethereal beauties. The artist accordingly insists that the magazines are “just a vehicle,” presumably used to open up the images to a larger reading and audience. The works become emotional vessels through which Sinclair explores the conditions of temporality, admitting that she “sometimes doesn’t see what is captured until time passes.” With the artist’s medium, the women acquire new meaning.
This openness encourages the same subjective reading from viewers. Some of the larger paintings in the show abandon the abstract motifs that commonly surround Sinclair’s nudes and opt for more natural and realistic settings. The women are brought closer to home, to the recognizable space of the audience. We can look at each woman and relate to her in a different way-either through desire or through the emotion in her eyes that Sinclair so poignantly highlights.
Suzannah Sinclair was born in 1979 in Frankfurt Germany. She received her BFA for printmaking from Massachusetts College of Art and has been the feature of several solo shows at galleries such as Galleri Loyal in Stockholm, Samson Projects in Boston, and Voges + Partner in Frankfurt. Sinclair’s work has also been selected for shows at Leonard Street Gallery in London, Barbara Krakow in Boston, and many fairs including Aqua, NADA, and SCOPE, to name a few. Sinclair lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
-Text by Katherine Abrams