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Over the course of her seventy year career, Susan Weil’s exuberant practice has drawn inspiration from nature, literature, art history, and her own lived experience.

Weil came of age as an artist in the postwar period, studying under Josef Albers at Black Mountain College with Willem & Elaine de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg & Cy Twombly. Although she has deep roots in the New York School of Art, her work defies easy categorization. 

Susan Weil, installation view, JDJ, Garrison, NY, 2021

Susan Weil, installation view, JDJ, Garrison, NY, 2021

Susan Weil, installation view, JDJ, Garrison, NY, 2021

Susan Weil, installation view, JDJ, Garrison, NY, 2021

Central to Weil’s practice is her fascination with expressing time through motion.

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
Black Configuration, 2000
Charcoal, watercolor, and acrylic on paper
60 × 66 inches

The spray paint works on paper, exhibited here for the first time in fifty years, 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. These 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 × 18 inches

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

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

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

The Soft Folds series of paintings on unstretched canvas from the 1980s and 1990s offer a take on the relationship between flatness and voluminosity.
These sculptural formations are made from simple shapes of canvas, painted on both sides and folded. The fullness of shape found in Moon, Half Moon, 1990, and the intricacies of drapery found in Ampersand, 1985, are 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
Ampersand, 1985
Acrylic on canvas
42 ½ × 22 ½ inches

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

Simultaneous to the Soft Folds, Weil produced the Configurations series of collages. In Color Configurations 2 (Red), 2000, 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 Edwaerd Muybridge, who is a touchpoint in her practice.

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

Susan Weil
Black Configuration, 2000
Charcoal, watercolor, and acrylic on paper
60 × 66 inches

Susan Weil
Black Configuration, 2000 (detail)
Charcoal, watercolor, and acrylic on paper
60 × 66 inches

Literature and poetry are a critical part of her practice and inspire her object-based works as well as her many explorations into the world of language.
Over the course of her career, she has created dozens of artist books, and in 2011 established an imprint, Weil Books, which publishes the work of emerging and established artists, poets and writers.

Susan Weil
The Reed, 1989
Text by J.M. Rumi.
Handmade artist book with etching and watercolor
9.5 x 6.5 inches
Edition of 50

Susan Weil
Brideship & Gulls, 1991
Text by James Joyce.
Handmade artist book with gold leaf, etchings and watercolor
16 x 16 inches
Edition of 50

Susan Weil
Tender Buttons, 1999
Text by Gertrude Stein.
Handmade artist book with etchings
13.5 x 11.5 inches
Edition of 50

Susan Weil
Giacomo Joyce, 1989
Text by James Joyce
Handmade artist book with etchings and collage
13.5 x 11.5 inches
Edition of 50

Susan Weil
Blind Man's Buff, 1997
52 playing cards with etchings on the front and back
4 x 4 inches each

On view in this exhibition are a selection of handmade artist books Weil made in collaboration with the New York-based publisher Vincent Fitzgerald & Co. in the 1980s and 1990s.
The meticulously designed books, many of which unfurl into spectacular forms, pair Weil’s inventive vision with the works of American writer Gertrude Stein, the 13th century Persian poet Rumi, and the Irish writer James Joyce, who has been a major source of inspiration for Weil since her childhood. Also on view is Blind Man’s Buff, a deck of 52 playing cards featuring 104 lithograph drawings made with her eyes closed. 
Susan Weil was born in 1930 and lives and works in New York. Her work has been exhibited at institutions across the United States and Europe, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center, Asheville, NC; and the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. Her work is included in a number of international museum and institutional collections,  such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York;  The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Menil Collection, Houston; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm among others.

Susan Weil press release

Susan Weil CV