past exhibition

november 2017: Sue Tower: Stretch with guest artist Kentree Speirs: Small Works


The plasticity of paint can be keenly observed this month as two painters with strong technical facility and radically different subject matter, style and process exhibit together. Sue Tower attacks the canvas with speed and abandon to produce impastoed, primitive abstractions, while Kentree Speirs carefully applies multiple layers of color and form to arrive at transparent and seamless abstract landscapes.

Tower’s 35-year painting career took a startling turn five years ago when she veered from the painstaking process she used for rendering realistic imagery to the spontaneous approach she uses in her current, non-objective work. Whereas before, a painting could take up to four months to complete, the new paintings require anywhere from a day to two weeks. Putting pressure on herself to move quickly through each painting, Tower invites risk into her new process. Her latest work expands her explorations into texture, layering and mark making.

Tower identifies her style as Abstract Expressionist, and sees it as a means to stretch her mind and delve into the unconscious, touching “universal inner sources.” Her credo, as cribbed from the original Abstract Expressionists of the 1940s: “[A}rt is an adventure into an unknown world of imagination which is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense.”