Meet Saundra Fleming, Featured Artist for Hedwig

May 28, 2022

There will be an Artist’s Reception to welcome Saundra Fleming on June 30, 2022 from 5:30 – 6:30pm in the State Theater Lobby. All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

Artist Saundra Fleming’s work will be on display in the State Theater Lobby throughout the run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, from June 23 – July 30, 2022.

Saundra Fleming

About the Artist

Saundra Fleming is a painter inspired by the bright colors, quirky characters, and natural world of her childhood in Louisiana and Texas. She often juxtaposes unlikely images, drawing from sources as disparate as Flintstones cartoons, seminal pieces by Baltus or Velasquez, the songs
of Leonard Cohen, and memories of shopping with her mother in the Piggly-Wiggly supermarket. She strives to incorporate and yet subvert the traditions of surrealism and pop art.

Painting has been her preferred medium since her early days studying at the University of Texas, when she worked under the painter Peter Saul and the performance artist Carolee Schneeman. A single mother at the time, she worked in the physics department at the university and fit in art studies where she could. Later, while obtaining an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, her influences widened. Her work became more conceptual, combining figurative imagery with philosophical inquiry and a strong sense of irony. She studied with Carey Lebowitz and Rhonda Lieberman, who influenced her greatly in terms of their wit and their embrace of the abject.

Woman Walking, 2022
acrylic and oil

About the Art

I paint about the animating consciousness that is in the nature of all things. What makes a frog a frog, a flower a flower? The reality is not just in the way a thing looks. All that is essential is invisible to the eye. I hold a paradox such as this to be true.

My work examines what some might call the absurd or the impossible. My mind will try to create a spectral nature, a ghost-like reality for a viewer to perceive. There is a perpetual hunger in me to invent the unrecognizable. I work to undo the accepted perceptual “realities” that
block the infinity of human visual experience.

Blue Girl Portrait, 2022
acrylic and oil

Ironically, most recently, my painting has taken a turn toward realism! I find myself juxtaposing the more abstract and experimental figurative
work of 35 years with a new almost photographic portraiture. How the two bodies of work will integrate, or refuse to, is an artistic experiment I am
looking forward to executing.

The opposition of realism and abstraction, in painting the human figure,
Has come to me, at age 62, as a sincere, at times frightening, surprise!
I feel I could never have reached this point in representational painting had
I made a plan to do so.

Fleming has established an artistic community at the Columbia City Gallery and Gallery 110 in Pioneer Square. She enjoys the strong support and fellowship of these Seattle institutions.

Amsterdam Woman, 2022
acrylic and oil