Across her career, Argentinian-Swiss artist Vivian Suter (Buenos Aires, 1949) has never strayed too far from the Basel art scene, from the city that was her home between 1962 and 1982 before she settled permanently in the middle of the Guatemalan rainforest. From her studio in Panajachel, on the land of an old coffee plantation surrounding Lake Atitlán, her work has evolved in an ever-closer exchange with the natural environment, reflected in frameless colourist canvases that flow profoundly with the tropical landscape immersing her place of work.
This relationship became more organic and procedural after Hurricane Stan, in 2005, and Hurricane Agatha, in 2010, with many of her pictures becoming mud-soddened, giving rise to pictorial series completed through the randomness of nature. From this point on, nature would intervene like a co-author in her works, which straddle the introspection inside her studio and the outside, permeated by wind, rain, mud and even small organisms from the surrounding jungle.
Each canvas retains its own autonomy as an artwork while maintaining a close connection with the rest of the pieces, amounting to a kind of evocative ecosystem of climatic, sensorial and emotive experiences. Thus, Suter’s paintings hang, with no stretcher, in sites which search for an immediate relationship with the architectural and natural space, at the same time as they inevitably refer to the environment in which they were created.
Her career shows most notably include those held at Kunstmuseum Olten (2004), Kunsthalle Basel (2014), the São Paulo Biennial (2014), documenta 14, Kassel and Athens (2017), the Taipei Biennial (2018), and more recently in The Power Plant, Toronto (2018), the Art Institute of Chicago (2019), the ICA in Boston (2019) and Camden Art Centre, London (2020).
Comunidad de Madrid
Exhibition information sheet: Vivian Suter
Museo Reina Sofía Publications