Susan Crile Susan Crile: The Fires of War
Susan Crile: The Fires of War

Federal Reserve Board Art Gallery
Jeremy Strick
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April 11 - June 2, 1995
Essay reprinted from
Susan Crile: The Fires of War,
The Saint Louis Art Museum

For those familiar with Susan Crile’s work of the 1970s and 1980s, the artist’s most recent body of work, The Fires of War, may come as a shock. Crile established her reputation as a painter of complex abstractions characterized by radiant color and intricate interweavings of planes and space. Much of her earlier art could be described as a form of abstract pastoral, projecting onto canvas an ideal world of sensuous shape and color that engages a twentieth century tradition exemplified by Henri Matisse. The Fires of War, by contrast, confronts in the most vivid terms a subject of scarifying┬ábrutality: war and environmental calamity. Relatively few artists of the post-World War II era have addressed such themes in painting and drawing. The Fires of War stands out as among the most powerful depictions of this subject in recent times.

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