Sam Sartorius 

Sam Sartorius
Four stars
Gallery One 36; Jan. 25-26

Sam Sartorius has made her mark as an Indianapolis-based abstract painter of landscapes, depicting, at once, worlds solid and ethereal. Now on her way to Houston, Texas, Sartorius opened her Indianapolis studio for one last weekend, offering a full repertoire of artwork for admirers and buyers. Bins of studies, photographs and a grouping of wall-hung figure paintings were representative of her artistic development at Herron School of Art and Design. Her mentor, Herron professor emeritus Robert Berkshire, was present — an icon of Indianapolis painting. Recent oils rotated from the walls as pieces sold, and Sartorius spoke with me about the power of whispering — a conversation spun from looking at her oversized oil, “Quiet Loudness,” hanging high on the studio’s brick wall. Here, color-filled layers and organic shapes held an atmospheric scene in an evocative balance of calm and action. Sartorius’ recent solo show at Studio 909 was titled Quiet Shade of Loud and her work was part of the Indiana State Museum exhibition Whispers to Shouts (2005). But Sartorius’ paintings aren’t about silent contentment. They hold evidence of active struggles between artist and canvas, resolved with both grace and strength. Sartorius’ work will be available at Gallery One 36 in Westfield, 317-867-4139, or visit

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