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Sally Storch

Biography - Sally Storch


Time ceases in Sally Storch’s oil paintings, as if, with paint and brush, the artist stops the ticking of the millennium clock, erasing any notion of rapid change, technological wonders, and dramatic events associated with the close of the century. Rather Storch captures life found between the ticks of the clock, in timeless, deeply moving, silent moments of city narratives where a tale is told in individual paintings, as well as between painting and painting. For example, Storch portrays a haunting moment in an old brick hotel, where a lone woman is cleaning, while, in the distance, a gentleman with suitcase in hand, approaches. Or, a story unfolds in three separate paintings, each portraying a different street corner, with a store displaying another Little Black Dress.

Storch’s art has been associated with the Ashcan School artists, among them George Bellows, John Steuart Curry, and John Sloan. Because Storch’s art shares an epochal look, it may seem as if there is a similarity. The Ashcan masters, in the early part of the 20th Century, were noted for their socially realistic scenes of ordinary life, in particular, the daily struggles of human existence. They made their pictures from the their surroundings, on the streets of urban settings. The Ashcan genre traversed the concept of masses of people dwarfed by industrialization to focus on the well-worn individual, the basic building block of the nation, the true picturesque American.

While Storch’s art has much in common with the Ashcan School of Painting – both render life-like scenery in realistic color where ordinary folks in nonheroic roles are elevated to a dignified status this artist’s statement has a unique perception. Unlike the Ashcan painters whose earthbound vision recorded the real struggles of the century frozen in time. Storch’s context is deeply rooted in an eternal view of life, one that is neither in the past, present, nor future, but all three simultaneously. Created with elegant technique, Storch’s painterly moods are much like those of the great painter Edward Hopper haunting narratives where everyday activities and the people who engage in them are revered. Her pictorial stories depict contemplative situations that evoke poetry within human activities, as in the paintings Workhorse at Dawn, or Four Cooks, Night Kitchen. Thus, Storch captures timelessness on quiet inner-city streets, creating an original portrait of the American people.

The uniqueness of Storch’s narrative art is that the artist deliberately sets up magical situations where, long after the painting is viewed, the pictorial tale continues to generate imagery in the viewer’s mind. The characters, their settings, and the nuances of the poetic moment nestle in the observer’s imagination, as each painting becomes a never-ending story, completed only in the soul.

- Roberta Carasso, Ph.D.
Art writer and lecturer