NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MILES McENERY GALLERY is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Suzanne Caporael. Book Eight, the artist’s eighth exhibition at the gallery, will open on 18 February at 520 West 21st Street and will remain on view through 27 March 2021. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication featuring an essay by art historian and philosopher David Carrier.
In Book Eight, Caporael continues her profound exploration of the nature of color, surface, and aesthetics. Her calm, yet invigorating paintings, composed of multiple veiled layers of oil paint, employ an aesthetic inherent to the experience of the real world. The artist’s ongoing investigation of rich colors, decisive placement of shapes, and juxtaposing forms makes Book Eight endlessly inventive.
The multiplicity of subjects in Caporael’s recent paintings are a departure from her previous focus on a particular subject or theme. Created under the staggering weight of current events, the paintings became a visual polyphony - an unshaped narrative of transient efforts to hold onto a thought long enough to paint it. Rather than developing variations on a single theme, the body of Caporael’s paintings reveals a certain flair and grace - a play of variations that are not rule-governed. What joins them as a group is the highly distinctive method and style that revives one’s interest in the aesthetics of art.
David Carrier addresses the abstractions of ordinary objects in her work: “Just as it’s hard sometimes to discriminate between nature and man-made landscapes, it’s difficult to distinguish between Caporael’s abstractions and her figurative images.” In this fashion,
the act of observation is an essential part of the process as Caporael consciously leaves interpretation up to the viewer.
Traditionally, aesthetic experience involves focusing on an individual artifact, and looking closely at that unique artwork. In Book Eight, Caporael asks that we compare and contrast a body of works—for only by seeing these distinct and diverse, but related and highly evocative images can we fully appreciate the individual artworks.
SUZANNE CAPORAEL was born in Brooklyn, NY. Her work derives from close observation of the natural world and the attempts—scientific and cultural—to define and control it. Observation coupled with research has resulted in groups of paintings related to trees, chemical elements, water, ice, time, place and memory. In spring 2020, Caporael was named a Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. An upcoming solo exhibiton “Suzanne Caporael: The Nature of Things” will open at the Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, WI, on 23 February 2021.
As noted in The New York Times, “Caporael’s paintings are a curious mix of the aesthetic and the conceptual...the paintings are sensuous and lyrical as well as rigorously formal.” Caporael continues to create paintings that both display and invoke a discipline of thought.
The artist earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, CA. She had her first exhibition at thirty-five, when then Director Paul Schimmel debuted her work at the Newport Harbor Art Museum (now the Orange County Museum of Art). She was awarded a National Endowment grant in painting in 1986, and has been a visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2009 she was a guest artist-in-residence at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.
Her work is represented in many major museum collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI; de Young Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, HI; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT, among others.