Susannah Israel: Concert 2019
Concert is a ceramic installation piece composed of four choral singers, a flute player and a cellist. Music has a profound spiritual effect on its listeners, which is depicted in the expressions and gestures of the sculptural ensemble. The installation concept and the evolution of the group have many sources.
”Coming together with purpose and some force” is the definition I find most provocative and engaging. My inspirations range from a beautiful child prodigy with a cello to Carl Van Vechten beating his fist on the knee of an adjacent concertgoer at the Sacre du Printemps (Rite of Spring) premiere in Paris, a 100 year-old California succulent garden, and the discipline demanded by our muses.
"Edgy... one of the most fascinating artists working in the field today."
California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art
"Allegory" (above) was made and installed in 1994 at CSU Bakersfield. It represents the culture & history of the region. As Faith Ringgold famously tells us, the personal is political. 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.
"There is a vast landscape over these pieces that required close attention. Each piece (is) an invitation to a long conversation with the viewer. I wanted to hang out with them, pull up a chair, get to know them and hear stories about them - like I feel when I read a good book." Linda Fahey
"Susannah Israel’s “Le Sacre du Printemps,” is vibrantly hot-hued and textured with saturated color spilling from the figure’s hands onto a piano keyboard. The Oakland artist’s intuitive storytelling approach, is translated into three-dimensions."
"The creations of award-winning California artist Susannah Israel reflect a deep understanding of our collective past." Deanna Selene
"I enjoy the absoluteness of Susannah Israel's clay expression."
Kari Christensen, Fletcher Challenge, New Zealand
Activist from birth, Susannah Israel is an artist, writer and educator on a mission for truth. Israel's expressive work is widely shown and held in collections around the world. Her allegorical sculptures question assumptions of race, gender and culture. Israel began writing art reviews in 2000 to support and showcase the talent being excluded by galleries and museums. While teaching at Laney College (2001-2018), she advocated fiercely for all students, taking on advising, writing curriculum and serving as chair, even though she was an adjunct with no insurance. Israel earned a BA and MFA from San Francisco State University, and is the only artist ftom the US ever to win the Fletcher Challenge Premier Award. She is a longterm resident of Oakland.