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Biography Intro

Brea Souders - Artists - Bruce Silverstein

Image: The Frederick News-Post

By shaping the physical materials that comprise the majority of her photographs, Souders satisfies her interest in psychology and chemistry. Her redolent images are a canvas for her creative practice that has extended from thoughtfully executed sculptural montages for her Counterforms series, to a literal suspension of chance in her Film Electric project. Souders’ photographs are complex. Her chosen subject matter often includes personal effects or specific props that she arranges in pictorial space, conceived as a visual analogy or parallel for that which is described in her titles. Her works function as experiments, or a physical acting out of an abstract concept or layered subject—investigations into her past, cultural heritage, art history, and language—they balance between the literal and the figurative. Souders constructs visual “plays” on her ideas employing a particular palette and light-hearted tone, belying consideration of weighty and essential topics. Similarly, her well-known Film Electric project playfully derives from an accidental occurrence in her studio (fragments of her own negatives adhered with static-electricity to a plastic film sleeve) but hints at a conceptual overlay that turns her work into a visual referent for her own memories. As with memory, she writes of the work, “…certain slices come forward, and they intertwine with a lot of smaller sensory memories tied to color, light or shape. An entire day can be remembered as the way that the light caught someone’s hair, the particular pattern on a guitar strap, the shape of the moon that night, and so on”. Despite Souders’ preference for control over the creation of her images, her intuition is to always honor chance and the unknowable. She says of her work, “Illumination isn’t guaranteed”.

Born in 1978 in Baltimore, Maryland, Souders studied art at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Souders lives and works in New York City.

Souders’ work has been shown internationally, including solo exhibitions at Abrons Arts Center, Baxter St. at CCNY and Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York; as well as the Centre Photographique Rouen Normandie, France, the Wellcome Collection, London and the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives, Canada. She has received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant and a fellowship with the Millay Colony of the Arts. She is a fellow with The National Arts Club for the year 2020. Her work is included in several survey publications, including Photography is Magic, Aperture, Feelings: Soft Art, Rizzoli, Color Theory in the Twenty-First Century, Oxford University Press and the forthcoming edition of The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Thames & Hudson. Souders’ work has been reviewed and profiled in the New Yorker, ARTnews, LA Review of Books, the Jeu de Paume Magazine and New York Times T Magazine.

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