August 29 — October 10, 2020

Collective Ruminations

Susan Kae Grant

In a world filled with distractions and uncertainties, Susan kae Grant’s exhibition, Collective Ruminations represents a sense of simplicity and balance. In this series, white on white shadow narratives portray memory, contemplation, spatial ambiguity, perception, circumspection and curiosity.

For Collective Ruminations, Grant juxtaposes infinite white patterns (both natural and fabricated) with historic illustrations that evoke multiple meanings similar to meditative states where active thoughts and tranquility co-exist. These juxtapositions reflect the artists lifelong fascination with meditation and childhood memories of pictographs and simple line drawings from the dictionary that evoked a pictorial language of wordless narratives.

In creating the images that make up Collective Ruminations, Grant portrays a sustained attentiveness and sense of natural order. The technique of juxtaposing pattern and illustration generates a conflict between perception and cognition, what one sees and what one knows. Grant’s interest in myth, memory and metaphor as well as the science of neural pathways is ever present in this work. As one contemplates the deeper meaning of these juxtapositions, there is complexity in the apparent sense of quiet serenity.

Inspiration and resources for the series include images Grant fabricated in her Dallas studio and images made on locations in the USA, Europe, China, and Japan. Historic image sources, many of which are from the 1800’s and some well into the 1940’s, include old dictionaries, medical books, patent drawings, encyclopedias, atlases, instruction manuals, and catalogs.

Susan kae Grant’s photography is in the permanent collections of numerous international institutions including: Arts of the Book Collection, Yale University, New Haven, CT; Boston Athenaeum, Boston, MA; Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ; Columbia University, New York, NY; Detroit Public Library Rare Book Room, Detroit, MI; Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Phoenix Public Library Rare Book Collection, Phoenix, AZ; Smith College Rare Book Collection, Northhampton, MA; The J. Paul Getty Museum Artists' Book Collection, Malibu, CA; The International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House; The Minneapolis Art Institute, Minneapolis, MN; The New York Public Library Spencer Collection, NY, NY; The School of the Art Institute Artist's Book Collection, Chicago, IL; The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan; Victoria & Albert Museum National Art Library, London, England; Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA; Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.

Grant’s work has been exhibited internationally including in Canada, China, Europe, Australia, British Columbia, Africa, Guatemala, and Japan at such venues as the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C; Aperture Foundation, Burden Gallery, New York City; The Photographers Gallery, Saskatchewan, Canada; The Anchorage Museum of Art; Alaska and The Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Selected exhibitions since 2013 include: Conduit Gallery (2017); University Theater Gallery, UTD (2018); Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, TX (2016); The Grunwald Gallery at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana (2016); Lunder Arts Center, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA (2016); The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY (2016); GuatePhoto International Photography Festival, Antigua, Guatemala, (2015); Lishui Photo Festival, Lishui, China (2015); See + Gallery, Shanghai, China (2015); Keith Murdoch Gallery, State Library Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2015); Walker Fine Art, Denver, CO (2015); Bonhams, Los Angeles, CA (2014); Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University, Waco, TX (2014); Verve Gallery, Santa Fe, NM (2014); Northern Arizona University Art Museum, Flagstaff, AZ (2013.)

Grant is Cornaro Professor of Visual Arts, Emerita, at Texas Woman's University and teaches workshops annually at the International Center for Photography in New York City. In 2005, Grant was selected as the commissioned artist for the design of the Southwestern Medical / Parkland Metro Station for DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit.)Susan Grant lives and works in Dallas, TX.