Barbara Straussberg


EDUCATION The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Painting Major, 1993. The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Distinction in Art History, B.A, 1983. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 1979-1980. STATEMENT As an artist, my materials and how I use them, are the essence of my art. I am always looking for new ways to apply the paint. Painting and drawing work in unison to form a complete and truthful painting. The act of painting is a personal journey to find out how I can more fully express my response to my surroundings. Subconsciously, I draw from nature and the world around me to record in a personal language what I see and feel through paint. Color is my primary form of expression, but I also rely on line, form, surface texture, pattern and collage. The process of painting is what interests me – the steps I go through to build up the paint and break it down. I am also concerned with how the elements of the painting play out against each other in an opposing dynamic. For example, what happens if you put a chalky white texture next to a dark transparent field of color? Or, how can a scratched line dashing through a painted line create a new expressive form? When I work, I think about the quality of the painted surface such as: dark against light, smooth versus rough, transparent or opaque, and bold versus subtle. Along with my paintings, I produce a series of works on paper which inspire and inform my paintings. There is a unique dialogue between the two forms, which is integral to the development of my entire body of work. Since switching from canvas to wood, I deal primarily with different ways to texture the paint. I employ a variety of techniques in applying the paint such as dripping, rubbing, and scratching. The tools I use to paint can be as simple and immediate as my fingers and paper rags. I am ultimately concerned with my relationship to the painted surface. Straussberg is represented by LAA Art Collective.