Schroeder Romero is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new photographs, sculpture, video and drawings by Susan Graham. This is her third solo exhibition at Schroeder Romero.
Graham’s new body of work portrays a woman’s attempt to live in a situation of relative safety and comfort as she tries to prepare for a disastrous event such as a natural disaster, war or an out-of-control government. Graham’s extended family were charismatic, fundamentalist Christians whose endless talk of the second coming, holy wars and the apocalypse seared into her young mind. Springing from a particularly American mix of fear, optimism and overactive imagination, Graham is both fascinated and skeptical of this apocalyptic outlook.
In preparing for disastrous events many survivalists methodically and repeatedly practice their preparations for the ultimate event although paranoid musings infiltrate their existence. Susan Graham’s exhibition explores the fear of an end in some way to “life as we know it”. This fear is countered by an optimistic belief that one can prepare for this eventuality.
Graham’s disturbingly arresting black and white photographs in which ominous skies dominate catastrophic landscapes suggest colorless worlds in the midst of disaster. Grahams photographic fictions are comprised of her small porcelain and sugar sculptures as props – tanks, buildings, airplanes – all under a looming sky. Her choice of materials imbues her work with a familiarity, a feeling of home or sweetness, though the subjects may be frightening or foreign.
Graham’s three-channel video, Survivalist, depicts a foreboding threat, paranoia and survivalist ideology; a woman alone in her apartment trying to hide from the disastrous skies looming outside, reciting a detailed list of things needed to survive post-apocalypse and the frustration of the survivalist with those unprepared.
The Cloud Practice drawings are meticulously drawn meditations on the mysterious individuality of clouds. A cloud is usually associated with beauty and serenity but Graham’s clouds are ominous, nuclear and cataclysmic.
Susan Graham has been included in numerous exhibitions in the United States and Europe including recent shows at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Michigan; the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, the Sherman Gallery at Boston University, Hunter College Leubsdorf Gallery, New York; the Musee d’art et d’industrie de Saint-Etienne, and the Musee International des Arts Modestes, Sete, France.