Susan Ferrari Rowley, Texas Sculpture Group
From Scottsville, New York
‘My medium and process is welded aluminum and hand sewn polyfiber, combined in sculptures that deal with human emotion. Line, space, and form interact equally in these opposites of hard and soft materials. The interior and exterior of each form, and the negative space in and around each sculpture are equally critical. White and translucent, they react to changing light with interior and cast shadows that are part of their visual complexity.’
For more images, complete resume, and written press and commentary see www.susanferrarirowley.com
Education and Historical Purpose:
Susan Ferrari Rowley moved to Rochester, New York, to attend Rochester Institute of Technology acquiring her MST and MFA, and found herself in the midst of an arts community that she became a consistent and active part of. She began her career as a sculptor, finding early that fabric was her medium of choice. Ferrari Rowley played a major role in the acceptance of fabric as a sculptural medium in the art world by consistently pushing the creative envelope causing critics to question existing standards for what was thought of as a ‘proper medium for sculpture’.
On Sunday, December 16, 1984, New York Time reviewer Phyllis Braff wrote of Ferrari Rowley’s work:….’examples that hold our attention as pure esthetic expressions help to establish the validity of fiber as a fine art medium….her dazzling three dimensional color abstraction, ‘Complementary Movement’ is clearly a star here….the effect is both stimulating and meditative….perhaps the show’s most profound piece……
As the debate over ‘fine art’ and ‘fine art craft’ continued on an international scale, Ferrari Rowley fueled the conversation to erase boundaries in exhibitions such as ‘Materials: Hard and Soft’ in Texas and The International Art Competition juried by Messinger of MOMA, Satz of the Whitney, and Little from Art in America. She simultaneously won best of show and purchase for the permanent collection at Chautauqua National Exhibition, and the Brenholz Award for Innovation at the International Fiber Exhibition. Her transition into the world of Fine Arts with her medium of choice: Fabric was now complete. While showing consistently in New York City, she was accepted into the famed international OK Harris Gallery in Manhattan, selected by the late icon of modern art, Ivan Karp, whose mission was ‘to show the most significant art of our time’.
Current Professional Activity:
The Delaware Contemporary Museum selected Ferrari Rowley for a one-person exhibition in 2017, along with Artspace, in Richmond, Virginia, and 2019 included her exhibition at Five Points Gallery in Torrington, Connecticut. The breadth of her venues included the outdoor exhibitions at Chautauqua Institute and SculptureNow at The Mount, in Lenox, Massachusetts. She was in the iconic international 2018 Venice Biennial Sculpture Exhibition, Time/Space/Existence, as one of seven American sculptors included in this portion of the architecture exhibition, and has been invited back to Venice for the 2020 exhibition (Covid TBA). Additionally, she had a major exhibition/installation open in 2020, funded by the Rubens Family Foundation, at Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, and a second, is planned for 2022 at the Public Art Projects Exhibition Space in Cincinnati, Ohio, to mark the grand opening of their newly designed space.