Nov 17, 2011

Reciprocal: Hana Hillerova & Susie Rosmarin | Gallery 1, Joann Cole Mitte, Texas State University | San Marcos

Susie Rosmarin, Gingham Variation, acrylic on canvas, 2003

WARNING: Are you epileptic? If so, I wouldn’t recommend this exhibition. I’m not epileptic and this exhibition still made me dizzy and made my head feel fuzzy. Though if you like feeling fuzzy you should check out this show. You have been warned. 
Susie Rosmarin, Spectrum #10, acrylic on canvas, 2009
 Right when you walk into the front entrance of the Joann Cole Mitte building at Texas State University you are on the second floor. Immediately to your left is the table at which a gallery monitor and a gallery sign in sheet sit patiently waiting for you to visit the two galleries. The first door on your left leads you to gallery one which was my focus. Students bustling to and from class may be a little distracting, but once you walk into Gallery 1 all of that disappears. You walk into this very clean white room with colorful and achromatic canvases spaced very far apart on all four walls. You also see sleek and sporadic sculptures spaced far apart standing on the floor. The space is so simple, elegant, and peacefully set up. I do wish there had been a few more of Susie Rosmarin’s canvases to eliminate some of the white walls. Though I do understand each piece needed to be spaced far apart to give each optical illusion its desired effects and attention. Also, one to three more of Hana Hillerova's sculptures would have been nice because the room did seem a little empty. How can a room with two artists one on the walls and one on the floor still seem empty? The curator probably wanted to stay with the theme of linear, geometrical, and minimalist space to match the artwork being displayed. It makes you think of a math test, the set up made the white walls pop and almost blinding and intimidating at first. Then like seeing all of the math equations you are in awe, in comparison you see all of the organized art pieces and it is a little shocking at first.

Susie Rosmarin, Gray #3, acrylic on canvas, 2011

Susie Rosmarin, Gray #3, acrylic on canvas, 2011 (close up of painting)

Susie Rosmarin was the artist with acrylic on canvases hanging on the walls. She uses a complicated mathematical formula and tape to create her designs. She even mentioned if she hadn’t done art for a career she would have done something with math. This is very obvious in all of her paintings, it’s nice to see an artist using both sides of her brain. All were hung at eye level to give the optimum viewing perspective. Each of her paintings were meant to be viewed up close and far away to get different optical and disorienting illusions. For instance in her piece Gray #, I experienced two different illusions. Looking at the painting from a distance you see the thick vertical lines, and the gray lines seem to look blurry as if I didn’t have my glasses on. It was confusing to my eyes at first because the white was so crisp and clear. When looking at the piece up close and personal the gray was still the optical illusion but different. She had the two achromatic lines, one black and gray and one white and gray. The gray area looked as if it were moving up and down, though your eyes naturally go across the canvas horizontally at first. The pattern was perplexing but intriguing all at once, I loved it.
Hana Hillerova, Untitled (Unfolding Space), iron and paint, 2009

Hana Hillerova was the artist with the sculptures that were iron and paint and one iron and mirror. She had four white sculptures and one with the mirrors which made it reflective. There were no sculptures in the middle of the room; each one was around five feet from the wall. This gave you a nice open space in the middle of the room. Her sculptures’ main focus was about lines and the spaces these lines created. Having the middle of the room open helped so that when you looked at a piece with your back to the wall the sculpture was closest to, the spaces didn’t get cluttered with another sculpture. This gave you a chance to experience each one individually and appreciate each piece. I also liked how you could look through the spaces and see Rosmarin’s colorful canvases. For example Untitled (Unfolding Space) was interesting to look through the different spaces to see the different color changes in Susie Rosmarn’s Spectrum #11. If you go you need to try this.

The name of the exhibition is called Reciprocal there are many definitions, the first is “Concerning each of two or more persons or things.” This definition does vaguely describe the exhibition; the definition is simple and sweet. The second is the mathematical definition, “A number related to another in such a way that when multiplied together their product is one.” When you put their pieces together it does equal one, the way you can use artists pieces to enhance both viewing the sculptures and paintings. They both used repetition in their pieces, Susie Rosmarin used shapes, color and lines, and Hana Hillerova used lines and shapes. They both complimented eachother in an elegantly mathematical way.

-Krista Jackson


  1. ContributorNov 17, 2011 10:07 PM
    I agree, I felt dizzy when looking at Susie Rosmarin's artwork, I found that I couldn't stare at it too long without going cross-eyed. The artwork itself is impressive and to know that the pieces are pretty large, and all of the time she spent working on them, I give her major kudos! Rosmarin's Spectrum #10, is amazing, the use of all the different colors is well planned and carefully placed, I wish I had the patience to create something like that.

    -Clara Moreno
  2. ContributorNov 19, 2011 11:00 AM
    I didn't particularly like this show, partly because I am from the computer era, and these works could have been made on the computer. so it makes me wonder why she would choose painting these pieces when it is just as easy to print them off the computer. Plus it is very much like psychedelic art that hangs in dorm rooms.

    -Jessica Guerra
  3. ContributorNov 27, 2011 06:54 PM
    Jessica- Rosmarin talked a lot about how she created each one of these paintings in her artist lecture. Each painting takes precision, planning and a lot of time, and that to me is much more interesting than printing them off the computer.

    - Vanessa Stuart
  4. ContributorDec 3, 2011 08:13 PM
    I agree with Vanessa, i have a respect for the amount of skill and precision it takes to make each painting. Though its not really my cup of tea i think its pretty fascinating how i almost felt sick when viewing her slides during the lecture. Its almost like my eyes were being pushed into my skull. I think its interesting when someones artwork has that kind of effect on the viewer.
    -Zachary Colquitt