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Susan Powers

American Folk Art of the Twentieth Century

Jay Johnson & William C. Ketchum, Jr.

(Rizzoli International, New York, NY 1983)

American Folk Art Article

“The still lifes of Susan Powers have been compared with the trompe l’oeil works of the well-known 19th–century American academic artist William Harnett. Like Harnett, Powers is fascinated with common everyday objects — books, seashells, bottles, and teapots — and she renders them in a manner so lifelike they ‘fool the eye’ of the viewer, almost leading the viewer to believe that the objects themselves are present on the canvas. The trompe l’oeil technique is uncommon with folk artists: some folk artists cannot produce a photograph–like image...”



“Powers is fascinated with old objects (and cats), a carryover from long summers spent at her grandparents’ Vermont farm, where she could roam rooms filled with ancient books, bottles, and knickknacks. Assembling groups of these objects, she creates tightly woven compositions that are often colored in rich, dark hues appropriate to their age. These dark hues also reflect the shade and shadows of the somber rooms in which the objects would have been found.”