Susan Mastrangelo at 490 ATLANTIC

Art Spiel Photo Story

A picture containing text, wall, person, indoor

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The artist with her work, photo courtesy of Barabara Friedman

Susan Mastrangelo’s five paintings featured in her solo show at 490 ATLANTIC vibrate with vivid and visceral energy, a culmination of the emotional journey she has experienced this past year and a half. The artist says that as she is standing in front of this painting series, she remembers how the fear during COVID prompted her urge to “seize the moment and focus on being present every minute in the creation of each work.”

A pair of shoes

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Union 30”x24”, fabric, knitting, cord filler, paint

That urgency is evident in the raw surfaces and intricate tensions between shapes, voids, lines, colors, and textures. Mastrangelo predominantly uses her own knitting, a skill she learned from her grandmother as a child. She sees the cord and knitting as representing a safety net, a link between past and present. They both serve as physical and emotional bonds as well as materials of great spiritual solace, reaffirming life.

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Unstoppable 30”x24” fabric, knitting, cord filler, paint

Mastrangelo uses upholstery cord to compose and draw her images. She then integrates paint, fabric and most importantly, her knitting, to connect and bond the forms. Her background, in painting early on and sculpture later, is integrated in these wall relief pieces, where the play between texture and design next to a painted color, a three-dimensional cord, or a piece of yarn come together into a harmonious whole.

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Shining Lights 60”x48”, fabric, knitting, cord filler, paint

She does not have a preconceived design in mind, and when the image starts to become something recognizable, she changes it. The knitting plays a dominate role as it curves, catches, binds and dictates the rhythm of her compositions. In the larger works, as in Unbridaled Passion, the artist says it is easier for her to focus on an inner rhythmical beat, and remain in sync with that beat until the drawing is complete.

Art on a wall

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Installation view

All photo courtesy of the artist unless otherwise indicated

Susan Mastrangelo at 490 ATLANTIC

Through Oct 31, open Sat, Sun 12-6pm

490 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217