Ellen Soffer’s jewel-toned abstractions explore repeating designs, vibrant color, myriad mark- making and churning movement. Working intuitively, the artist marries overlapping forms and gestural lines to create spaces that are deliberately ambiguous and grow successively from one to body of work to the next. Intense color and heavy impasto permeate these pulsing tableaus, creating a radiating energy. Soffer’s intention is to capture the impressions and sensations left behind from dreams, emotions, or memories while leaving space for the observer’s intuitive and visceral response. Soffer received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art. She has exhibited across the United States, with over twenty solo exhibitions in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia, and has taken part in numerous group shows. She has been awarded several residencies, including Skowhegan School and Ragdale Foundation and is the recipient of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council’s Visual Arts Fellowship. Currently, Ellen Soffer lives and works in Shreveport, LA.
My studio and art practice are essential in centering my attention, renewing my energy, and engaging with myself and the formal processes of painting. When beginning a new work, I draw shapes and lines on the canvas while referring to previous explorations that share repeating ideas about color, shape, and mark-making. Using oils, I create intuitively, not always knowing how a piece will come together but certain that color and its intensity will be driving factors. Working in paint’s nonverbal language, I begin to recognize figurative or associative elements as they emerge from the push and pull of gestural lines and overlapping forms. Content and meaning come afterward by carefully reflecting on how individual paintings relate to current and past bodies of work. Their correlations and narrative are not literal, and the spaces are deliberately ambiguous. My intention is to capture the impressions and sensations left behind from dreams, emotions, or memories without being limited to the specific details of the events themselves, leaving room for viewer participation and interpretation.