acrylic on canvas
Audra Skuodas is a visual artist whose studio is located in a converted warehouse in Oberlin, Ohio, home of Oberlin College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Skuodas was born in Lithuania in 1940 and lived for six years in a displaced persons camp in Germany before coming to the U.S. in 1949. She became a U,S, citizen in 1961 and earned a B.A. and M.A. at Northern Illinois University. She married the artist John Pearson in 1965 and they have two children. She has taught at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, the Cleveland Institute of Art and Oberlin College. For the past five decades Skuodas has been focused and prolific, producing thousands of paintings, drawings and artist’s books which are at the same time personal as well as universal, exploring the boundaries between internal and external realities. Donald Kuspit has written of her work, “Whatever suffering the figure may signify, it does so largely through the tense way it interacts with the rest of the picture , which is essentially geometrical.” Skuodas is a true humanist, her work being concerned with the role of Humanity in the universe: its evolution/devolution and sensitization/desensitization. This often uncomfortable interaction is a significant concept and the point of reference in her work: in the canvases and drawings, and especially in the books. The books evoke the Japanese Zen Buddhist idea of satori: a symbiosis of image and text; the special moment of awareness in which the infinite and the finite become one. Satori is central to Skuodas’s work and is the key concept that, as an artist, she offers back to the world. In the past decade, Skuodas has had two one person shows in New York, was reviewed in Art in America, and in 2010 received the Cleveland Arts Prize Lifetime Achievement Award In the Arts. She continues to work compulsively in her studio.