Kennebeck Editions Home

When talking to Sally Storch her animation and energy are apparent and it is difficult to take any sort of notes because of the overwhelming necessity to join into conversation with her using both hands. She is excited to be an artist today and draws upon the past to create her images of the present. Sally has a love for history and all the who’s, what’s and where’s that go with it. These things all contribute to the dynamics of Sally Storch as a person and as an artist.

Sally Storch comes from an artistic family background with roots in the Paris school of the early Twentieth Century. Arabian Princess and great aunt, Bertha Rihani, lived in and painted in Paris during the 1920’s and kept the company Henri Matisse and in particular Kees Van Dongen. This school blossomed in America with Regionalism and naturalistic presentation of American life with artists like Edward Hopper, Thomas H. Benton and John Steuart Curry. These are the influential artists named by Storch and the nativist movement they brought to contemporary art is continued in her paintings. She combines this style with that of the Ash Can and Regionalist schools of New York where another aunt, Stephanie Stockton, attended the Art Students League and studied under John Steuart Curry. This New York look was different in that it broke away from the French Post-impressionist brightness and embraced the gritty world of the American city. These painters followed John Sloan’s technique of watch your neighbors and Robert Henri’s urgings to pay attention to everything you see. Storch successfully fuses the Ash Can style with the spirit of regionalism to create intense contemporary paintings which impel feelings of timelessness, nostalgia and romance.

But the true driving force in Sally Storch’s paintings is her ability as a storyteller. Everything, everyone comes to life in her mind and a pure vision of hereunto-unknown lives become real in her paintings. And it is inevitably a love story in the broadest sense of the term. It is this invitation to create a story which enhances the atmosphere of Sally’s paintings. When she paints she believes the characters she has drawn. This truth makes her paintings sharp and powerful.

Every image is a narrative as well as an exacting reproduction of a contemporary scene.   But how then can they have this air of taking place a hundred years? Sally explains this look to be a manifestation of her search for an old Los Angeles. It is the romantic notion of what Los Angeles used to be and its modern effort to find itself. Her use of the warmth and light of Los Angeles as well as its architecture elicit the nostalgic feeling of a different era. Storch lives in Pasadena and many of her paintings are local scenes because for the artist Pasadena offers this ideal of the city: a self-contained town where the look of the past is easily seen in the present.

Sally Storch received her Bachelor of Arts from U.S.C. In the midst of the Minimalist heyday, she rejected this style and stuck close to the traditional emphasis of drawing as the strongest foundation for painting. She studied under Edgar Ewing at U.S.C. and through his teaching became an excellent draftswoman. After receiving her B.F.A., Storch began teaching art. However she was quickly inspired to paint full time after numerous successful shows and commissions.

Stephanie Retsek
Art Historian

Home | Artists | About us | News & Events | Contact us