The lush, densely patterned textures found in Susan Goldman's Amphora series are quite a sight to behold.
Their amazing interplay between form and rich color and mark-making is reminiscent of a number of artists whose subject matter derives from the vessel - Giorgio Morandi and William Bailey, but her work also addresses the complexity of mark-making and are visually entertaining. In fact, part of the inspiration for this series comes from her exposure to north Africa and the incredible culture and rhythms of Morocco; its architecture, applied arts, and music.
Goldman's work speaks also to the history of these forms which have been used for centuries to transport fish, grains, spices, oil and wine as a part of a tradition established to transport goods across the Mediterranean Sea. Goldman's amphoras don't liken themselves to containers, but her interest in the form is for the shape itself. Her compositions are full of tightly-compressed, but not flattened spaces where the amphoras look as though they are floating in a sea of mark-making waves. Their visual relationship to Cubism is clear given the artist's display of them in a multi-dimensional space of hide and seek.
The vessels' elongated necks and delicate handles are enjoyable to see, but it's her layering of the forms with patterned designs as seen in Morocco's Islamic buildings and applied arts that are create an intriguing dimension to the work. The image below suggests the viewer is looking through a screen in a harem at an exotic interior.
Likewise, a pleasant surprise in the piece below is an obscuring of the vessels' forms for the clarity more often seen in her prints. One can feel from it feels rhythms of music and aromatic scents moving through the air. It also has a closer affinity with the work and colors of contemporary printmaker Karen Kunc, with whom Goldman has previously worked.
The infinity of geometric-inspired Islamic design patterns lend themselves well to Goldman's vessels and the multiculturalism of the Mediterranean. They become as timeless as the objects they derive from, but they are also a part of the present-day environment which anyone wanting to go print in Assilah should do so at their earliest opportunity.
Below is a view of the Mediterranean Sea at Assilah.
For more information about Ms. Goldman's prints contact at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For information regarding Assilah's print center contact: Assilah International Cultural Moussem http://www.c-assilah.com
Some of Ms. Goldman's Activities and Awards:
Founder/Master Printer, Lily Press, Rockville, MD
Professor of Printmaking/Master Printer, Navigation Press, George Mason University, VA
2008 Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Special Projects Grant
2005 Coordinator Southern Graphics Council International Conference “Power in Print”
2000 Artist-in-Residence, Assilah Foundation, Assilah, Morocco
Founder and co-curator since 1993 of The Art of Work, The Work of Art ©
1990 – 2000, Special Projects Coordinator, Master Printer, & Book Arts Fair Coordinator for Pyramid Atlantic
MFA - Arizona State University, in Printmaking
BFA - Indiana University, in Printmaking, 1981