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Episode 98: Susan Mastrangelo

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

If I could nail down the essence of Susan Mastrangelo’s works to one descriptive definition, the word resistance comes to mind.

Her mixed media paintings seem to resist being traditional paintings in many senses in both their abstraction of composition as well as the abstraction of materials. They give a nod to genres such as cubism and traditions such as knitting, but become something else by Mastrangelo's hands. In addition to paint, materials like yarn, fabric and upholstery cord suggest a midcentury notion of "women's work", yet these materials and techniques are used quite differently than their intended purposes. Some rules are followed, yet others are abandoned . . . and the results are quite intriguing.

Upholstery cord emerges into a three-dimensional plane, thus elevating the painting into the realm of relief work or sculpture. Patterns woven in the textile are echoed or challenged by the acrylic. Spaces invite exploration, both the negative space and areas of texture and design. We recognize the beginnings of weaving, sewing and knitting . . . but these techniques are abandoned to become something more than the functional, lending to the aesthetic resistance of what we expect materials to do.

Origins of her current body of work seem to emerge from previous explorations or organic forms and figures. Identity lends to her exploration, and this is visible in some of her more recent installations as we see figures, layered and patterned and life-sized- interacting within the space to be experienced by the viewer.

We are excited that Susan is joining us for the 98th episode of The Large Glass. Bring your beverages, and tune in on on Facebook, Youtube, or Twitch!

In case you missed the live broadcast, here is the show on YouTube.

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