By Cassaundra Mariotti
For the past month, the free standing cutouts of Susan Sills’s artwork have been displayed in the Maurice N. Flecker memorial gallery in the South Hampton building. Sill’s artwork is part of a modern tradition that credits viewers with intelligence.
During the Mid 1980’s Sills began to create her two dimensional cutouts of Birchwood and oil paints. Sills brings her work to another levelby combining her modern day cutouts with real still life objects that we use in this world today. For instance, in one of her paintings she has two Japanese women sitting down with a teapot next to them and a piece of cardboard from a happy meal box in the corner. Sills brings the past and the present together making them one. Sills idea is to have her artwork interact with the people. She wants the people to be able to relate to her cutout images. Each one of her cutouts brings a new meaning into this world. If you look more closely at Sills’ artwork, you can almost feel as if the image were looking at you, as if they were trying to reach out to you. It sounds crazy but if we just take a little look closer we might just see the story behind the work.
Another creation of Sills was to bring people from different paintings and put them with each other in one whole painting. Not only is she trying to have interaction between real people and the cutouts, but she wants the cutout images to have interaction with each other. Sills is not an easy artist to understand, but she reveals her secrets through her work, which will be displayed in the gallery through April 4.
Arthur Kleinfelder, the art director in the South Hampton building offers some tips for better understanding Sills’ work. Kleinfelder showed how to view art in a very in depth way.
“You have to look deeper into the artwork you are looking at. Look at what is behind the people in the painting or who they are looking at,” Kleinfelder said.
A painting will tell a story of a thousand words, it’s just up to you to put the story together.
“Paintings start to become objects. They want you to know the person in the painting,” Kleinfelder said. Learning the history of art can be very beneficial and more students should become aware of the possibilities there are in learning about the inner depth of art.
Kleinfelder said he feels that the gallery is very valuable for the students, and it provides a good learning experience.
Another artist who is very well known for his work has almost the same idea as Susan Sills, his name is Gabriel Ladderman. Ladderman is known for the founding father of post modern figurative art and his still life creations. He has emerged as a key figure of new realism in the 1960’s and the 1970’s. Both Susan Sills and Gabriel Ladderman tend to use interaction within their artwork. Their artwork may be a little hard to understand but, at the same time they are very meaningful. They both like to put different sets of characters with other different characters. They want to break up the normality of every other painting, and mix it up a little.
Sills’ cutout images with their real life objects have shown humor and interaction. We as the viewers have more of a chance to become educated about the real truth behind the water colors.
The Maurice N. Flecker gallery has been known to show the artwork of other artists as well. Sydney Tillim and his paint soaked paper and the May arts show, presenting different pieces of art through clothing are two examples. The art galleries of the Ammerman campus bring different creative types of artists into the gallery to empower the students with knowledge of art. The gallery is open to the public as well as students Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.