The Fellowship of PAFA
Fellowship Virtual Gallery
SENSUOUS SHAPES AND MIMICRY
Picture of the artist, Barbara Sosson, in her studio. Photograph by, Susan Beard.
Sensuous Shapes & Mimicry
This series began in 2016 with a body of totally nonobjective works containing sensuous shapes with no realist imagery. During the pandemic I began working on images that I photographed on several visits to the Bronx Botanical Gardens in New York. Although they were representational paintings, the last six works slowly migrated back toward the abstract. Included in this exhibition are three of those more abstract botanical paintings depicting how the ponds at dusk become a network of black abstract shapes.
Last year, with the push and encouragement of my friend, artist and gallery owner, Rebecca Segall, I decided to return to my abstract works, into which I have recently added graphic bird imagery. I am interested in the way birds’ patterns mimic their environments, creating the beauty and extreme designs of their plumage. A bird’s skin cells contain codes that create these designs which mimic their environments and helps to protect them from their predators.
Having an early classical training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts keeps my hand and eyes focused that and enables me to include multiple techniques in my work. I find this union of imagery and related abstract shapes to be a workable subject that feeds my painterly hand, as well as my sense of design and my love of the natural world. I have painted in oils over the last fifty years and have recently added a limited use of mirror markers and glitter to illuminate my birds glamour and their fluorescent dressings. Throughout my long painting career, I have worked in many series that are usually multiple-years-long and evolve to and from the real and the ideal.
Barbara Sosson, February 2023
Barbara Sosson Bio
Barbara Sosson has been a fine art painter for over fifty years. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) and the current President of The Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, an independent nonprofit Alumni Association. Her work is represented in numerous private and public collections including: Aramark Corporation, Philadelphia, PA; Capitol One Corporate Offices, Delaware; Bryn Mawr College, PA; The Fellowship Collection of PAFA; Fidelity Bank, Philadelphia. PA; Insurance Company of North America, a CIGNA Corporation, Houston, TX; Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, Philadelphia, PA; The State Museum in Harrisburg, PA; WIP Radio Station, Philadelphia, PA; Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA; Amber Road Corporation, Shanghai, China.
Sosson has exhibited her work throughout her painting career in invited and juried exhibitions and supported herself and her painting career as a fine art publication designer with her own design firm since 1972 at age 27. She has won numerous awards both in design and painting.
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