Artscope fall 2010, article by Linda Chestney. Includes image and text about “River Reflections”
2 paintings included in Studio Visit volume 12, 2010, a curated magazine of international artist.
‘“I am inspired by many things: by the forces of nature, by the human form, by light and how it transforms the world, by the miracle of sight, by the landscape both natural and manmade,” Hodes says. While studying her paintings, viewers can see dual images skillfully blended into one. It is not unusual to see the interior of a room coupled with a reflection of a city street. Or, an interior highlighted by a lamp with the exterior glowing from lights outside as in ‘Hotel Room at Night: Inside/Outside.’ — American Art Collector, 2008, about Artana Gallery exhibition, Brookline, MA
Two Hodes drawings included in the book Boston Modern about Boston Expressionism by Judith Bookbinder. 2005, University Press of New England
Portraits:Persons and Places: Schlesinger Library At Radcliffe
Boston Herald, Dec. 2002
Joanne Silver: Sketching Humanity
"Whether she is recording a close relative or a foreign city, the artist filters her subject through a personal lens. The 38 paintings, drawings and monotypes fuse physical details with an expressiveness that—at its best—produces haunting results. In a richly earth-toned drypoint, the city of Prague emerges as a swirl of statues and gravestones, bridges, roofs and hills, filled with energy and pain. Architectural forms appear and seem to vanish, as ephemeral as smoke.
Reflections, real and imagined, crop up everywhere, loitering in the recesses of a person’s physical space or glinting off windows, mirrors, storefronts and rain-slick streets. With an energy that recalls Piet Mondrian’s legendary "Broadway Booogie-Woogie", these three Times Square monotypes turn New York’s most bustling corner into jazzy riffs in maize, yellow and coral. Shapes dance among flickers of taxicabs and lampposts, flirting with abstraction, but never leaving the realm of actual objects.
"Matisse Working" celebrates a painter who delighted in blurring the line between subject and background. In this blue monotype Hodes depicts the artist late in his life, when he had abandoned the physical rigors of painting to create his spectacular collages. Sitting in a red chair beside a table with fruit, the bearded old man in glasses wields a pair of scissors. On the blue wall behind him, sketchy lines hint at the harbor in Nice, boats, plants—all ingredients of his art. Here, though, they have a hazy presence.
Are they actual features of the place in which he is working? Are these figments of a fantasy so fertile it could fill an entire room? In Hodes' art, such distinctions of daily living fade before the power of the image."
Arts Media, Winter 2002
Loren King: Reinventing Tradition
"At the Schlesinger Library in Cambridge, artist Suzanne Hodes marries passion to technique."
"The show begins on the top floor, with Hodes’s largest pieces: portraits of several influential people in her life. There’s the striking painting of her mother, clad in a bright orange robe, looking as if captured on a typical day, in a typical moment. After the face, one is drawn immediately to the hands in this painting. The left is resting on the counter, knuckles bent the way elderly joints often are; the right looks to be leaning on an unseen cane.
But just as significant are her land- and cityscapes, impressionistic renderings of New York, Boston, Prague, Jerusalem and the Tuscany region of Italy. All these works convey the artist’s interest in how light transforms a subject, literally and metaphorically. Each of the three small monotypes of her recent "Times Square Series" are similar patterns of buildings and outstretched street lamps and taxis that look like they’re on the move.
In "Boston Reflections" a stunning piece from 2000, Hodes imbeds bits of color photographs into a collage painting of a city street which appears to be Stuart Street facing the Dartmouth Street side of the Boston Public Library. Yet, the work is impressionistic: a flower bed erupts from the center of the street; a Meridian Hotel awning overlooks a nearby spot.
Views are reflected in large glass storefronts; often they are clearer than the actual image being reflected. Hodes’s vision blurs subject and its mirror image, past and present.
It is a seductive look at how the world is transformed simply by seeing."
Art New England, April/May 2003
Alicia Craig Faxon
"Some of the most impressive works are in the fourth floor gallery, such as the black -and-white portrait of Oscar Kokoschka, with whom Hodes studied. It projects power and authority in its close-up scrutiny. An oil portrait of Hodes’s mother is an interesting contrast in its painterly, expressive brush stroke and brilliant complementary colors.
In her monotype portraits of Primo Levi and Janusz Korczak (a doctor in the Warsaw ghetto), Hodes uses the unusual technique of transfer monotype. The first example is in white lines on a black ground: in the second the same lines are black on a white ground. Although taken from photographs, these monotypes bristle with authenticity and intensity.
In her oil painting New York Fantasy, the artist reflects the lights of the city at night: it is a work both abstract and concrete, with paint dominating the surface in fluid transitions. This theme is reprised in a large oil on paper, Night Scene, in which the figures in the foreground give the image depth and accessibility. Nearby is a delightful pastel and charcoal, Tuscan Landscape, done with a free rendering of trees, flowers and bright Italian light.
Altogether, this is an accomplished and mature exhibition, in which Hodes is successfully experimenting with different modes and techniques of expression."
"In Hodes' 'River Reeds' a web of black arcs, punctuated by red, skirt across the canvas, pale white, blue and green tones stabilize these elements, suggesting the wildness of nature anchored by a placid sky .... Daubs of colors, nicely balanced, add warmth to the image's expression of organic growth, which alludes to the natural world of her title. In works such as these, Hodes achieves a graceful equilibrium between the natural world and the man made illusion of one. Even better are her pure abstractions. Devoid of an illusionist prop, the real subject of her work, when the artist is engaged with paint, she has more room to breeathe, which is evident in these works' wider use of textures and visual complexities." — Boston Herald, 12/99, Mary Sherman: Landscape Show
“In the second of the ‘Times Square Jazz” series, half of the canvas evokes a rhythmic counterpart to the other, and the bright reds and yellows suggest solo pieces in a jazz rendition reminiscent of Mondrian’s ‘Broadway Boogie Woogie.’” “Public and Private Converge in Artwork” — Carolyn J. Cohen, The Boston Globe 1998
“Always a consummate draftswoman, Hodes builds her paintings and collages upon a restless yet fluid tracery that captures necessary degrees of both accuracy and ambiguity, and demonstrates the combined power of factual detail and conceptual abstraction…. Anchored in the subjective realm of human experiences, Hodes’s art acknowledges an engagement with the world as one that is constantly in process, and one that seeks to be ‘true’ while embracing the unpredictable and imperfect.” — Susan Stoops, curator of the Rose Art Museum, essay in catalog for “City Reflections,” Hodes exhibition at the Bunting Institute, Cambridge, MA 1996
Suzanne Hodes: City Reflections
"In Suzanne Hodes' cityscapes, light fractures form. Looking at these paintings, prints and drawings is akin to gazing through a mirrored kaleidoscope on a sunny day: The images jumble together and fall apart; colors layer and refract; figuration verges on the appearance of collage."
“I particularly liked a small series of drypoints portraying Prague. The fine, delicate lines of the drypoint take root among the shimmers, here limited to earthy browns and subtly glowing ambers. The layers of shifting planes here do not reflect but provide a skeleton for this cityscape, growing up around domed buildings with spires.” — Cate McQuaid, The Boston Globe, 1996
“This viewer detected a minor but interesting intellectual current running through the show. It first became apparent in the stern visage of Primo Levi as rendered by Suzanne Hodes. It is done in a style that is particularly elegant: essentially thin outline with the line being lighter than the ground, and it is an effect associated with Picasso.” — William Zimmer, The New York Times, 1990 (“One of a Kind” at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, CT)
“Line travels through Suzanne Hodes’s works with a vitality that combines innocent exuberance with practiced visual probing. The charcoal and chalk portraits, though they are without the color interaction of the other pictures, are the most immediately striking of the works. They have a directness and strength of scale that give them force.” — Meredith Fife Day, Middlesex News, 1987
“She is an artist of impressive emotional and technical range--forceful, realistic, charcoal portraits, freely handled monotypes, lyrical landscapes rendered by an abstract shorthand.…” — Robert Taylor, The Boston Globe, 1978