Collection 1970s–Present

Suzanne Jackson. Wind and Water. 1975 254

Acrylic paint and pencil on canvas, two panels, Each panel: 97 × 60" (246.4 × 152.4 cm). Acquired through the generosity of The Modern Women’s Fund, Alice and Tom Tisch, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Michael S. Ovitz, Ronnie F. Heyman, and Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida

Suzanne Jackson: My name is Suzanne Jackson and I am a painter-sculptor.

These paintings, Wind and Water, are really about imagination and nature. I was thinking about those elements that I grew up with in Fairbanks, Alaska where nature’s all around. You see those huge mountains and glaciers.

I was also privileged to have this big studio space that I could just really break out and paint. I could even dance while I was painting. I think there's a great deal of movement in the paintings with the animals and fish in the water and the wind. On the side with the sun, there are two heads, each looking in a different direction, with a heart in the center. We have the birds, they're almost like swallows, and leaves with a blooming plant—almost like hibiscus.

And then on the other side, there is sort of female looking figure on the right. One of her arms is a long stem with a rose at the end. The other arm goes into a big splash of red orange color that then swoops down low into a big orange fish. I’m more interested in the spirit of these figures and animals all together as one.

I was still very young when I was painting these. I was also doing research and learning a great deal about African art and symbolism. So having a better understanding of our heritage, where we'd come from before coming to the Americas, or sometimes we were here first, a long time ago. So across oceans, across continents, we have been a part of nature since the beginning.

In my work, even now, I want to say there is a great deal of love and beauty in Blackness. There is nature within us.

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