Susan White is engaged primarily with pyrography and “thorn works”—three-dimensional assemblages made from the thorns of the honey locust tree. Her pyrographs, large drawings on thick rag paper, are made with the use of a burning tool with which White creates drifting galaxies of many small marks that become poetic evocations of constellations of cells or prayers. Her thorn sculptures, in their accumulation, have a more architectural character, although the right-angle alignment of thorn to branch creates a cubistic tracery that relates as much to drawn lines as it does to constructed forms.
Kindred Virtuosities is an exhibition of diverse artworks by three artists whose studios are located in Kansas City—Miki Baird, Garry Noland, and Susan White. Although clearly individual, the exhibits by these artists share a number of characteristics that mark them as compatible and complementary explorations. Among their common strategies is the embrace of nonart materials and alternative processes and a facility for working in both two and three dimensions. Shared formal procedures include layering, systematic organization and mass replication.