Susan Kraut's paintings are intended to capture a particular moment in time, revealed in the skies seen out the windows and in the human-scaled interiors of rooms. Inside, there are hints that something has happened or, possibly, is imminent; food is left half-eaten on a table, newspapers are left partially read. The human occupants are never present, but they have left evidence of their activities. The times of day captured are often close to sunrise or sunset, when the light is less intense, changing quickly, creating a hushed atmosphere.
These paintings convey a stillness, an instant which has been observed and held in memory. They are created with slow, layered applications of paint, intended to slow down the eye and allow the objects and places depicted to hover in a space not perfectly resolved. The window, a central element in all of the paintings, becomes a metaphor for the nature of painting itself: a framed, selected view of a small segment of the world we inhabit.
Kraut has been teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for over 25 years. During that time she has influenced a generation of art students and artists that have learned the importance of observation, and who now echo those values and ideas in their own work.
Image, Susan Kraut, Studio 1, 26x26, oil on panel