RSM Art Gallery: Conjuring by Charles Suggs
September 21, 2023
The RSM Art Gallery is proud to present Conjuring, by Charles Suggs. The exhibit features Suggs’ smoke paintings- black and white portraits of the artist’s friends, family, and strangers. To celebrate the opening of Conjuring, the Gallery is hosting an Artist Talk and Reception on Thursday, September 28, from 5:00–7:00pm.
September 28–November 3, 2023
Artist Talk & Opening Reception
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Artist Talk at 5:00 p.m., Opening Reception 5:30–7:00 p.m.
[added10/16/2023 - watch Artist Talk recording on YouTube]
About the exhibit
RSM Gallery is proud to present Conjuring, by Charles Suggs. The exhibit features Suggs’ smoke paintings- black and white portraits of the artist’s friends, family, and strangers. In 2018, Charles Suggs learned about drawing with candle smoke while visiting Cape Town, South Africa. In 2020, During the Covid 19 lockdown, he decided to take time to explore this technique. It has become a primary medium for the artist, playing a significant and persistent role in his projects.
To create each portrait, the artist works from recollections and photographs. He starts with a detailed under-drawing, which is quickly subsumed by the fast-moving smoke. The haunting images created by this process offer striking details set amongst softer edges. The features concealed and revealed in the drawing process speak to loss and connection. The ambiguities within the portraits allow viewers to discover the semblance of someone familiar. This process of recognition stirs associations for the viewer. The dark, evanescent, and uncontrollable smoke is a metaphor for memory.
The RSM Art Gallery, located in the Bentley Library, is free and open to the public when the library is open.