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Susan Bee

Susan Bee is an artist, who lives in Brooklyn. She won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014. Her current solo show, The Challenge of Painting, is up at the Mid-Manhattan Library through August 20, 2015.

Breathing Room

Nancy Princenthal’s proposition lead me to think of the famous opening of John Berger’s Ways of Seeing (1972): “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.”

KANDINSKY's “Painting with White Border”

I initially went to the Guggenheim Museum to see Cattelan’s spectacle All, however, I was drawn to the rooms off the main spiral, which focused on Kandinsky’s “Painting with White Border” (1913).


As the daughter of a woman artist, I saw, first-hand, the toll of discrimination based solely on gender. For my mother’s generation, the misogyny of the Mad Men-era of the 1950s and 1960s was well known. And while the style of suits has changed, the discrimination persists.


I was born into trauma. My middle name, which I use as my last name and nom de peinture is Bee. I was named for my great-grandmother Bella, my father’s grandmother, who died in a concentration camp along with my great-grandfather and 17 other relatives, who also died in the Holocaust.


I’m often inspired by poetry. “Lost Doll” was made in response to a poem by Rachel Levitsky that she wrote about my drawing, “The Island.”

George Kuchar’s Otherworldly Humanity

George Kuchar (1942–2011) was one of the most creative, original, and influential filmmakers of our time, straddling two generations of North American iconoclasts, from Stan Brakhage, Ken Jacobs, Rudy Burckhardt, Kenneth Anger, and Michael Snow to Warren Sonbert, Ernie Gehr, Abigail Child, and Henry Hills.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2023

All Issues