Using the computer to introduce the art work of Susan Barron is the very antithesis of this work’s sensibility. Her images are small, dense, finely detailed –multi-layered in every respect. A measured encounter with originals is mandatory for serious interpretation, not a hurried glance at inauthentic images.
There exists in the work of Susan Barron an intimacy of subject, a delicacy of scale, a seductive aesthetic and a perfection of execution unsurpassed by...artists at work today.
To enter the exhibition from the noise of the street filled with blunt and aggressive visual messages and be confronted with quietness, subtlety and sophistication of Susan Barron’s books is an overwhelming experience. No new techniques or materials flaunted here. What is remarkable is the perfection of execution, underlined by the quality which manifests the utmost refinement and craftsmanship. Going through LABYRINTH OF TIME like a meditation is an intimate, engaging and uplifting experience. We are enticed into the realm of mystery and magic, into a world we do not want to leave. This is a unique experience in contemporary art.
Some of the work’s impressiveness is its refusal to impress by force. However, the images offer a stubborn authority, an unrelenting sureness and maturity. Pressed into this work is the echo of profound experience and subtle originality. Every gesture is surprising in its breathtaking freshness.
Rejecting a mind-set that valorizes the large, the garish, the obvious, Barron’s work looks instead at the diminutive, the hidden, the fragmentary, work that is best described as a kind of contemporary medievalism. Curators from museums, libraries and other venues are invited to seek out the original works.
In her photographs the image seems rather to have been breathed onto the paper than printed...in her collages, once again, she never forces for effect. The varied ingredients seem, in fact, to have drifted together of their own accord, and what they have to say comes to us in a whisper. But it is a whisper worth bending down to listen to.
Susan Barron’s bookworks are worthy of our undivided attention and study. Here are talismans that inhabit a quasimagical frontier between genres, where words, pictures and all sorts of materials are dissociated from their ordinary contexts and recombined. In the startling and sometimes unsettling works...Barron explores language and its relationship to music, to image and to the natural world. Taken as a whole, Susan Barron’s oeuvre may be construed as an iconography of time, universal in scope and conception and entirely lacking in sentimentality. Moreover, the individual pieces, whether delicate and intimate or powerful and intense, serve to halt its passage, release its pressure, and rend its fabric, allowing tantalizing glimpses from various perspectives into what we might call time’s primordial harmonic.