The Courtauld is pleased to announce that it has acquired eight drawings by the American artist Susan Schwalb (b.1944), one of the foremost figures in the revival of the metalpoint technique.
The new acquisitions represent Schwalb’s career from the earliest Parchment (4/V/81) of 1981 to Harmonizations #3 of 2017. Seven of the metalpoint drawings have been purchased through a generous gift of the Tavolozza Foundation, with one further work donated by the artist.
The works are a significant addition to The Courtauld’s small collection of metalpoint drawings, and enhance the representation of female, as well as American, artists in the gallery’s collection of contemporary works on paper.
In May 2019, Schwalb was invited by The Courtauld’s Research department to give a seminar on the metalpoint drawing technique and it was this close encounter with her work that generated The Courtauld’s interest in her drawings.
From 1984 to the present day, Schwalb has created strikingly juxtaposed works formed of different colours and metals. She has also worked increasingly in series, pushing the creative boundaries of the medium, and enriching its vocabulary, by combining gold, brass, silver, copper and aluminium to achieve a shimmering, luminous surface.
Her unique position within her field has made her one of the leading practitioners of the metalpoint medium, which is appreciated for its refinement, precision, and for the meditative quality of its mark-making.
Susan Schwalb’s drawings can be viewed on The Courtauld’s website and will be available to view in The Courtauld’s Print Room when the Gallery reopens in November following a major transformation.