Susannah Israel 

 from perception to realization

    The visual parade of urban life is my inspiration. Crisp and vivid or fleeting and fugitive, this montage provides me with rich references.  My 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. 
     My approach is a combination of practiced skill and reckless disregard for convention. I  sacrifice lifelike anatomy to questions of composition and gesture. I use both high and low-fire clays. I am an alchemist, always testing new formulas. I use any material - paint, metal, found objects - that serves the idea. I've told students  "Use all your options," and I 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

"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. 

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