Susan R. Kirshenbaum

art and life - both the cherries and the pits

Scrolls & Banderas

My “Banderas Series” hanging in the first group show at Radian Gallery (SF) Fall 2018



In 2016 I created my first series of life-sized white silk scrolls. They populate their exhibition space with a powerful female presence. They are most elegant and alive when shown with a fan blowing a little breeze on them and causing them to flutter, like the rippling sensation of a room full of lively women.

These are women who are at home in their skin. They are gesture drawings from live models and each scroll reflects aspects of the model’s personality.

The second series I created are my color block silk scrolls. Bold tones take the lead in these. Spirited and punchy, these gesture drawings are fully realized paintings with vivid palettes that cover the silk.

They are reminiscent of classical Asian brush-painted scrolls. Scrolls, often on white silk, are a traditional way to display and exhibit East Asian painting and calligraphy. My first piece in this series was drawn in the style of Asian ink brush painting.



The banderas series was originally conceived and created as a site-specific installation for an art residency in a co-work loft space on a San Francisco pier under the Bay Bridge in 2017. These five, eight-foot high sheer panels are digitally-created gesture drawings. Drawn from live models, they are printed on white chiffon, sewn around the edges, and hung with acrylic rods from a very high ceiling. The intention of this initial installation and exhibition was to penetrate a male-dominated tech space with monolithic naked women. Being translucent they can seen from both sides and the bright daylight that pours through giant windows flows through the sheer fabric. Where the banderas overlap their colors meld. They can also be seen from the outside by passersby on SF’s Embarcadero, a heavily trafficked waterfront sidewalk. They are called banderas, the Spanish word for flags, because they are emblematic - serving as a symbol of a particular quality or concept. They are my personal flags.

“It took me on all kinds of journeys.” - Tony Wessling, Radian Gallery