The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is presenting “Dancing with Paint” — an exhibition of new paintings by longtime Santa Barbara artist Marlene Struss.
The exhibition runs from July 17 through Sept. 8, and the public is invited to an opening reception with the Artist from 5 to 7 p.m. on July 16.
The title, “Dancing with Paint,” contains multiple references, according to the foundation’s website, asfb.org.
“It conjures the sloshing, swirling, elegant movements of Ms. Struss’s painting style, which she describes as biomorphic abstract expressionism with an Asian twist,” the website said. “On another level, ‘Dancing with Paint’ characterizes Ms. Struss’s partnership with her paintings — how the organic, structural images quickly and almost magically emerge as the artist’s hand and the paint respond to each other in bursts of coordinated, exhilarated movements.”
The painter graduated in 1973 from UCSB, where she studied drawing with Howard Warshaw, painting with Irma Cavat and printmaking with Bruce McCurdy. She spent many years developing a unique style of abstract collage, for which she was awarded the Independent Artist Award for Assemblage in 2004 from the Santa Barbara Arts Fund.
After a brief stint with digital painting, she then turned to acrylic painting on panel to increase spontaneity and decrease limitations, to enliven the work with surface texture and work more physically.
“To prepare for those special moments of focused inspiration, I spend much time and deliberation on my choices of harmonious colors, paint viscosity and unusual applicators (including yarn, balloons, plastic forks, acetate, rags, you name it) — but it’s dancing around the studio that really primes me and seems to be an essential part of my painting process,” Ms. Struss said.
More information and past and present artworks by Ms. Struss can be seen at www.marlenestruss.com.
The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara has been dedicated to expanding the community’s appreciation of the built environment since 1983.
The gallery is located in the historic Acheson House at the corner of Garden and East Victoria Streets in Santa Barbara. Regular gallery hours are Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. and weekdays by appointment.