from perception to realization

    The visual parade of urban life is my inspiration.  My art practice is a fusion of planning, process, and discovery. I begin with a series of drawings to develop a concept; I make notes about  color and composition;  working with the clay material, I am alert to its expressive possibilities. The figure takes the center stage, as narrator, actor and symbol. 
     I usually combine practiced skill with reckless disregard for convention, sacrificing lifelike anatomy to questions of composition and gesture.  I am an alchemist, always testing new formulas. I use any material - paint, metal, found objects - that serves the idea. I tell my students  "Use all your options," and I do take my own advice. 

Israel.Garden back.jpg

"Susannah Israel uses color

as a vital part of each composition, and is a master at creating work

full of imaginative gesture

and meaning."          

Natalie Nelson, Pence Gallery

Le Sacre du Printemps

"Susannah Israel’s “Le Sacre du Printemps,” vibrantly hot-hued and textured with saturated color spilling from the figure’s hands onto a primitive piano keyboard, bears a startling resemblance to its surroundings.

The Oakland artist’s intuitive storytelling approach, translated into three-dimensions, “is intended to celebrate and serenade the garden setting.”

                                          Lou Fancher

                        Reviews and Conversations


Allegory, above, was made and installed in 1994 at CSU Bakersfield. It represents the culture & history of the region. In 2004, I received an award from the 510.0rg for my work, which challenges notions of race, gender and culture. Most importantly, I have been told hundreds of times that people see their own stories in my work. As Faith Ringgold tells us, the personal is political.