Existentialist findings: the Viennese painter Soshana
The painter Soshana, who was born in Vienna and who is now after half a century a Vienna resident again, has travelled and experienced the world. Steadily on the move, curious, always in an artistic flow and driven by the wish to live and work in warmer regions, she has become a globetrotter and cosmopolitan, whose life and work has been minted by experiences gathered in all continents. Oscillating between content-orientated watercolours, eruptive, fanciful abstractions and formal autonomies, Soshana has created a manifold œuvre. Her informal paintings, mainly created in the 1950ies are the highlights of her works: pictures of spontaneous gestures, which are rich in contrast, brush strokes full of verve, which contrast the seemingly infinite pictorial spaces and areas, agglomerates of colours, drippings and drawings. Not serving as images, but referring in sum to a new, spontaneous image of a new beginning.
In Paris, the Mecca of Art of the late 19th and 20th century, centre of attraction for painters and sculptors from all over the world (it is said that around the year of 1960 125,000 of them lived in Paris) Soshana had a difficult time to assert herself and to be noticed.
She managed in a surprisingly short time to gain ground, to find appreciation in and admission to galleries and among a few important critics and she was appreciated by many artists, above all Alberto Giacometti and Pablo Picasso. Both giants of modern art repeatedly portrayed Soshana, one of them in Paris, the other one in Antibes.
For quiet some time, Paris was for Soshana the city to broaden her horizon, the right place to gather experiences and to study milieus. Her distinctive and extraordinary appearance fitted perfectly in a scenario, which demanded much strength from the artist and yet gave her much confidence.
Until today, the paintings by Soshana have always been subjective, determined by strong contrasts and fraught with risk.
In a world of new beginnings Soshana has created symbols and contrasts of existentialist affirmations. Her current creations, which are related to Vienna, highlight once more her creative impetus.
Peter Baum, 2005, university lecturer, former director of the Neue Galerie in Linz,
founding director of the art museum Lentos, Linz, Upper Austria