Susanne Kühn is a contemporary artist with an expansive approach to painting and drawing. Central to Kühn's practice is her highly animated and vivid execution of a precise level of craftsmanship through which she interweaves various painterly vernaculars and styles. Via this aesthetic approach, she engages with the history of painting from a female perspective, as well as exploring everyday life and futuristic narratives in her current work.
»Kühn delves into the possibilities of virtual reality (VR) as a means of exploring new forms of visual expression. Within this realm, she reimagines representations of humans and plants, transforming their biological structures through inventive reinterpretation. Organic forms take on technoid characteristics or evolve into humanoid entities. Her pictorial worlds reflect exuberant and vibrant growth, challenging confining principles such as architectural boundaries. …« » Kühn (uses) deviation, incongruity, and distortion to construct fantastical and proliferating universes. With confident artistic enthusiasm, she showcases the potential of VR for visually reinventing the natural world. The generative principles of VR and the boundless nature of organic growth allow Kühn's artistic inventions to know no boundaries.« 1
In this sense, the vibrantly coloured portraits of pansies – her most recent body of work – are placed in an underwater environment with intricate floral details and household detritus that lies on the ocean floor – perhaps a dystopian vision of the future?
After having undergone a classical training in painting, drawing and printmaking at the prestigious Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst (Academy of Visual Arts) in Leipzig, Kühn relocated to the USA soon after completing her degree in 1995. She pursued postgraduate studies at the School of Visual Arts and Hunter College in New York, and later, she was awarded a Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard University in 2001-2002. In 2015, she was appointed full professor of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, Germany. Following her time in New York and Boston, Susanne Kühn now works and resides in Freiburg, with a professorial teaching position in Nuremberg.
Kühn's work has been showcased in solo exhibitions at various renowned venues, including the Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna, the OMI International Arts Center in Ghent, New York, Haunch of Venison in London, UK, Sala Uno Contemporary Arts Centre in Rome, the Harvard Radcliffe Institute in Cambridge, USA, the Robert Goff Gallery in New York, USA, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, USA, the Museum für Neue Kunst in Freiburg, the Kunstverein Freiburg and Bill Maynes Gallery in New York, USA.
Kühn has also participated in numerous group exhibitions. Her work has received critical acclaim in The New York Times, Artforum International, Art in America, monopol, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, ZEIT Magazin and ART das Kunstmagazin, among others.
1 Dr. Heidi Brunnschweiler, artistic director Galerie für Gegenwartskunst Freiburg, September 2022