Susan Weil

In a career spanning more than sixty years, Susan Weil has forged a singular path. At 94 years old, she continues to make incredibly dynamic work that is exemplary of her unique vision.
She came of age as an artist in the postwar period studying under Josef Albers at Black Mountain College with Ruth Asawa and Robert Rauschenberg.

Susan Weil and her work Flower Folds, 1991, Acrylic on canvas, 33 × 13 inches

Central to Weil’s practice is her fascination with expressing time through motion, which she does in a number of ways, including her use of seriality, collage, and kinetic sculptural elements.

Susan Weil, Untitled, 1998, Acrylic, charcoal and watercolor on paper, 60 1/2 x 66 1/4 in

In her Configurations series of collages, the nude female figure is loosely painted on a series of small pieces of paper, collaged together to form a grid. Taken as a whole, these paintings articulate a dynamic sense of fractured movement reminiscent of the 19th century photographer Edweard Muybridge, who is a touchpoint in her practice.

Susan Weil, Color Configurations 2 (Red), 2000, Acrylic on paper, 60 × 66 inches

Susan Weil, Color Configurations 2 (Red), 2000, Installation View at The Dallas Museum of Art

She draws inspiration from nature, literature, photography, and her personal history. One can sense the pleasure she finds in everyday life—her delight in experiencing the passing of time as she moves through the world with a great sense of curiosity

Susan Weil, Aswim, 2018, Acrylic and graphite on maple panels, 30 x 30 x 2 3/8 in

The spray paint works on paper express the figure in a simple and contained way. Weil made these pieces in a free-flowing process, working on several at a time and allowing the compositions to come to her spontaneously.

Susan Weil, Untitled,c. 1971, Spray paint on paper, 24 × 18 inches

Susan Weil, Untitled, c. 1971, Spray paint on paper, 24 x 18 in

These spray paint works articulate the silhouettes of body parts—the curve of a hip or breast, the crook of an elbow—and evoke a sense of corporeal fullness articulated through a minimal use of line and form.

Susan Weil, Untitled, c. 1971, Spray paint on paper, 24 x 18 in

Susan Weil, Walking Figure, 1968, Spray paint on Plexiglas sheet in open metal frame, 12 1/8 x 12 x 1 in

Her Soft Folds series of paintings on unstretched canvas are made from simple shapes that are painted on both sides and draped into spatial configurations. This series offers a take on the relationship between flatness and voluminosity.

Susan Weil, Sorrowing (detail), 1985, Acrylic on canvas, 26 1/2 x 14 in

Susan Weil, Sorrowing (detail), 1985, Acrylic on canvas, 26 1/2 x 14 in

Susan Weil, JDJ the Ice House 2022, Installation View

Susan Weil, JDJ the Ice House 2022, Installation View

The fullness of shape found in Moon (Half Moon), 1990, is reminiscent of a body as expressed through clothing, like the folds found in the robes of Renaissance paintings, which Weil considers an influence for this series.

Susan Weil, Moon (Half Moon), 1990, Acrylic on canvas, 40 × 21 inches

Susan Weil in her studio, 2022

She's often worked with blueprints, exposing the paper to light and using her body and other objects to make impressions, a technique that she introduced to her then-partner Robert Rauschenberg in 1949 and that she continues to use today.

Susan Weil & Robert Rauschenberg, blueprints in Life magazine, 1951

Susan Weil & Robert Rauschenberg, blueprints in Life magazine, 1951


Susan Weil

b. 1930 New York, NY
Lives & works in New York, NY
Susan Weil CV

Awards & Residencies

1977 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship
1976 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship

Public Collections

Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, Asheville, NC
Bowdoin College, Special Collections, Brunswick, ME
Brooklyn Museum Library, Brooklyn, NY
Bucknell University, Bertrand Library, Lewisburg, PA
University at Buffalo, The Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, Buffalo, NY
Columbia University, Rare Books & Manuscripts, New York, NY
University of Delaware Library, Newark, DE
Dartmouth College, Rauner Special Collections Library, Hanover, NH
Dieu Donné, Brooklyn, NY
Graphische Sammlung, Munich, Germany
Harvard University, Houghton Library Special Collections, Cambridge, MA
University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, IA
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA
The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, SC
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
Library of Congress, Rare Books and Special Collections Division, Washington, D.C.
Lyrik Kabinett, Munich, Germany
Malmö Konstmuseum, Malmö, Sweden
The Menil Collection, Houston, TX
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota, TC Anderson Library Rare Books, Minneapolis, MN
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Montana Museum of Art and Culture, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand
New York Public Library, The Spencer Collection, New York, NY
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Rochester Institute of Technology, Wallace Library, Rochester, NY
Scripps College, Claremont, CA
Smith College, Mortimer Rare Book Collection, Northampton, MA
Stanford University Libraries, Special Collections, Stanford, CA
Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
Tulsa University, McFarlin Special Collections Library, Tulsa, OK
University of Vermont, Howe Library, Billings Special Collections, Burlington, VT
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Wellesley University, Wellesley, MA
Wanås, Knislinge, Sweden
Yale University Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, New Haven, CT