Otis College of Art and Design
My focus is the exploration of the strength of pure acrylic paint as structure and narrative.
Formed acrylic shapes are integrated dimensional surfaces in the paintings and in drawings.
These are my visual responses, recognizing ancestral traditions that continue to resonate
in contemporary African-American retentions and expressions. African-American
Classical music (also known as jazz), Blues, and Indigenous World music forms are
visualized associating references to musicians, to dance, and to natural elements,
strongly influencing my work process. Pushing possibilities of the pure paint materials,
I work as if each beginning is a large-format drawing. These works evolve into paintings,
held together mostly by pure pigment.
Reused Acrylic shards and fragments directly applied alter gestural content and surface.
The paintings synthesize elected cultural memory in visual representation, integrating drawn,
implied or painted line. Pinching, crimping and pleating become linear reconstructions of the
painted surface. Elements and alterations are refined with acrylic paint emphasizing
structural tensions and fluidity of form in the final effect. The flexible two-dimensional
surfaces are realized into “almost “three- dimensional form. Within each composition are
suggested responses to curiosities about passed-down stories and lesser known day to day
traditions that are in continuing practice within African-American heritage and culture.
Surrounded by the raw elements of nature and its various extraordinary transitions, I am
now settled, experiencing and living in the Savannah Georgia lowcountry since 1996.
The development of my paintings and drawings has evolved as a result of continued searching
and finding the “spirit” references especially to Indigenous-American cultural traditions and
events, established and evidenced, in the entry origins of African-American cultural experiences,
throughout the Americas.
Moving from place to place, the influence has been, following the paths of ancestors.
“Suzanne Jackson creates large mixed media works that are expressive, spontaneous, and even playful. She creates each piece by layering a vast array of papers with acrylic and canvas. Her work is a hybrid of collage, painting, and sculpture that breaks the conventional rectangular frame. Her highly textured and colorful works seem to dance on the wall, sometimes bursting out into the space of the viewer. Her works mix monumentality and ruggedness with warmth and freedom.”
Albany Museum, Albany, Georgia
SUZANNE JACKSON has had a distinguished career, exhibiting her work in prestigious museums and galleries worldwide with her paintings and biography featured in numerous publications. Jackson’s works can be found in public and private collections nationally and internationally. Works have been included in the Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980”, Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980, opening July 2013 at Williams College Art Museum; touring from MoMA PS1, Long Island and The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA.; “Places of Validation, Art and Progression”, California African American Museum, Los Angeles; The 30 year retrospective, Marks From the Matrix, Normal Editions Workshop, Normal Il.; The Getty Research Institute Oral History Interviews- “Modern Art In Los Angeles”, “Gallery 32 and Its Circle”; 2013 and 2010 selections, U.S. Embassies, Monrovia, Liberia and Belgrade, Serbia Art in Embassies Program, U.S Department of State. One person exhibitions include Danville Museum of Art, Danville, VA; Ferst Fine Arts Center, Richards and Westbrook Galleries, Georgia Tech University, Atlanta; Parkersburg Art Center, West VA; Albany Museum of Art, Albany GA; Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, VA; Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA.
Suzanne Jackson received a B.A. in Art from San Francisco State University and holds a MFA from Yale University School of Drama, Design.
Artist's photo courtesy of Nathan Jones