ICA Miami presents the first museum exhibition of work by self-taught New Zealand artist Susan Te Kahurangi King. Since early childhood, King has made drawings comprising bold colors and refined rendering. In some of her earliest drawings, the artist’s undulating lines coalesce into appropriated cartoon characters, in works that predate pop art.
The exhibition includes some 60 works, many of which are on view for the first time, and surveys the various periods of King’s work: from her foundational childhood drawings, to her extensive and vibrant notebooks, to her mature works of the 1970s and ’80s. The exhibition also features King’s output since 2008, which follow a nearly twenty-year dormant period. In these latest works, the artist’s practice goes beyond representational content to explore organic abstraction. King’s decades of artistry have resulted from an open-ended process of looking. Taken together, this wondrous encyclopedia of images demonstrates King’s singular worldview.
Susan Te Kahurangi King (b. 1951, Te Aroha, New Zealand) is an artist living in Auckland, New Zealand, whose work has begun to receive worldwide attention for its innovative and expressive approach to drawing. As a young child, King stopped speaking and has since been diagnosed as severely autistic. Her gifts as an artist were recognized by her family at an early age but would take decades before gaining broader recognition. Since 2009, King’s work has been shown with Chris Byrne at the Outsider Art Fair in New York and Paris, as well as Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, and Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand. Her work is in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland. Committed to furthering research on Susan Te Kahurangi King and contemporary self-taught artists, the American Folk Art Museum has created a fellowship in her name. King currently lives and works with one of her sisters in the Hamilton neighborhood of Auckland.
"Susan Te Kahurangi King" is organized by Tina Kukielski, independent curator and Executive Director of Art21. A monographic catalogue published by Lucia|Marquand will feature essays by Kukielski and Gary Panter, an interview with Chris Byrne and Petita Cole, as well as a contribution by artist Amy Sillman. Foreword by Alex Gartenfeld.
This exhibition is funded through the Knight Contemporary Art Fund at The Miami Foundation.
Major support is provided by the Dr. Kira and Mr. Neil Flanzraich Fund for Curatorial Research at ICA Miami. Additional support for Susan Te Kahurangi King is provided by Chris Byrne and The Lester A. Levy, Jr. Family Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas.