Suzanne Caporael's new body of work, titled Blue Uniform, is both of the mind and of the senses. Characterized by deep blues and the decisive placement of simple shapes that seem familiar yet just out of reach, the paintings reflect and respond to the complex relationship between the quotidian surroundings of the quiet studio and the dissensus and visual chaos of the outside world. The polysemic titles which avoid description or meaning invite contemplation while revealing the artist's long-standing engagement in the lexicology of form. Spare and deliberate, each image is intrinsic to its process and its properties of wood, linen and paint. This economy of means and meaning may be meditative or challenging. Caporael consciously leaves that choice to the viewer.
The act of observation is an essential part of the process, and with it the hand of the artist progressively becomes visible to viewers. As Dr. James Snyder puts it: "Her paintings speak to us in conceptual terms, but their value is not reducible to their conceptual content. They present abstractions of ordinary objects while also reminding us that they were made by someone and that, similarly, they are being appreciated by someone."
With these new works, Caporael continues to create paintings that both display and invoke a discipline of thought and makes us reflect upon our own perceptions. 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."
SUZANNE CAPORAEL was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1949.
The artist completed her BFA and MFA at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, CA. She had her first exhibition in 1984, when her work was presented at the Newport Harbor Art Museum (now the Orange County Museum of Art) by Paul Schimmel, then the museum's director. She was awarded a National Endowment grant in painting in 1986, and she 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 prints have been published in collaboration with Tandem Press, Madison, WI.
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; 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.
Suzanne Caporael lives and works in Lakeville, CT, with her husband, the novelist Bruce Murkoff.