Making the invisible visible.
Susanna Storch’s works can be classified as figurative realism. The highly diverse oeuvre of the artist is made up of portraits, nudes, façades, landscapes and antiwar depictions.
A native of Mainz, she studied Graphic Design and subsequently Art Education at the University of Mainz. Even in her early work, the artist already devoted herself not only to figurative painting but also to sculpture. The human figure was already the focus of Susanne Storch’s interest right at the beginning: portrait and nude drawing and painting in particular exerted a fascination for her. After completing her studies in art education, she initially focussed her attention on ceramics and object design. However, she returned to painting as of 1999. The independent artist has lived and worked in Mainz since 1998.
Her earlier works are predominantly characterised by depictions of people. She derives her inspiration from everyday life and photographs that she takes. She portrays known individuals and strangers, whereby her main focus is placed on facial expressions and gestures, emotions and expressiveness.
“I wanted to find and create metaphoric pictures that express intensive feelings, all kinds of different human emotions – the human drama”.
That objective crystallises above all in her works relating to ballet and dance theatre – which is a very exciting focus area within her overall work. Susanna Storch attended dance rehearsals and made snapshots of the dancers while they were practising, so she was able to achieve a very intimate insight into the people she portrays. That undertaking resulted in a series full of graceful, delicate and very beautiful individuals who engender closeness and distance vis-à-vis the viewer at the same time. In some cases the protagonists radiate contentment, a relaxed attitude and equilibrium – sometimes aloofness, vulnerability and sadness – and sometimes their emotional state is impossible to determine when elements of joyousness and melancholy are simultaneously discernible. That is how she creates excitement and inspirational freedom in her pictures. In Oxana und Igor (i.e. Oxana and Igor) the protagonists display a supremely confident and superior posture. They communicate with one another with facial expressions. The deep red background provides a strong contrast with the muted colours of their clothing – thus generating a captivating, vivid and spirited atmosphere.
In the “FASSADEN” (i.e. Façades) series the artist distances herself from depictions of people, focusing her attention on a wide variety of building façades all over the world. Nevertheless, human beings still serve as significant elements of her subject. In a almost voyeuristic fashion, the artist unobtrusively captures people who happen to be by the windows. Looking out, smoking, talking on the telephone, but always partially hidden by reflections in the window or by curtains – she renders the individuals anonymous. The resulting effect is composed of equal parts of discovery and concealment. Those snapshots do not offer any insights into the life of the depicted individuals at all: they only stimulate the fantasy of the observer. So we can imagine our own little stories. She reproduces the commonplace – mundane anonymity within the urban context. In her works she makes use of a drab and greyish range of colour overall, but she still conveys vibrancy and communication in her pictures.
Susanna Storch has already had many great opportunities to present her works in public. In 2016 she had a solo exhibition at the ART re.FLEX gallery in St. Petersburg. An exhibition was devoted to her work at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice in conjunction with her participation in the “Arte Laguna Prize Exhibition”. Her works have also been on display in the Cathedral of Würzburg and at the Museum of Miltenberg.