Susan McAlister: Evergreen

841 Wolf Trap Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22911

(434) 882-2620

  • Presented By: Les Yeux du Monde
  • Dates: 8/7/2021, 8/14/2021
  • Location: Les Yeux du Monde
  • Time: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  • Price: FREE


Les Yeux du Monde is pleased to present
Susan McAlister: Evergreen
22 May – 15 August 2021

Les Yeux du Monde is excited to present Susan McAlister’s fifth show with the gallery—Evergreen from 22 May – 15 August 2021. In keeping with McAlister’s abiding “love of the land” that is at the root of all of her creations, this exhibition contains her well known oil and mixed media gestural landscapes as well as a series of more abstract works on paper she begins in the landscape itself, often in old growth forests, tracing and drawing the negative space and patterns of light through the trees. Memories of playing with her brother in the forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains inform this body of work, she writes. “Forts constructed beneath tangled webs of mountain laurel and treks made to pay homage to a fallen chestnut grove” appear in her series of works on paper that evokes the blighted chestnut trees in title and in the skeletal elegiac quality of the intertwined marks and drippings. These works additionally bring to mind mid-century Abstract Expressionist masters she admires such as Joan Mitchell and Cy Twombly.

Also included will be some of McAlister’s forays into cut paper assemblage works. Inspired in part by Matisse’s cut–outs of the 1950s that are three dimensional only because of their placement in architecture, McAlister creates literal three dimensional sculptural ensembles by threading and layering cut painted paper or cyanotypes of leaves, flowers, butterflies, and actual mementoes such as birds’ feathers or found objects from the original landscape she was exploring. If her oils are of sublime vistas from a distance and her works on paper bring to mind the more abstract feeling of being IN the landscape, these assemblages zero in on the particular landscapes and “the stories they tell” as her titles often state, through the objects and layers of materials and shapes elegantly interwoven together. She confirms, “these pieces have expanded my ability to highlight the stories of specific geographic and historical sites.” Her childhood play again surfaces when she writes of the “musky smell of decay, the power of the wind through the treetops, rare Lady Slippers along the deer paths, [and] found objects from a people of another time”. But her own recollections of “the magic of the forest” coalesce with a larger mandate to remember the places that came before our current uses of the land, to honor and preserve its stories and natural habitats.

McAlister’s paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the East Coast and are found in many private, corporate and university collections. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, May 22 from 3 – 5 p.m. with harp music by Amy Lim. A later event with the artist is being planned. To RSVP for the opening please call the gallery’s new phone number, 434-882-2620 or email The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday 1 – 5 p.m. and by appointment.

1. Susan Mcalister, Stories Told in the Light I, 2021. Archival paper, found objects and mixed media assemblage, 56 x 46 inches
2. Susan Mcalister, Imagine. The Chestnut Forest, 2021. Oil, graphite and mixed media on paper, 72 x 42 inches
3. Susan Mcalister, Effortless Grace, 2019. OIl and mixed media on canvas, 36x72 inches
4. Susan Mcalister, Chestnut Groves II, 2020. Oil and mixed media on paper, 42 x 30 inches
5. Susan Mcalister, Echo, 2019. OIl and mixed media on canvas, 42 x 48 inches