My work is landscape-based, rooted in a subtle exploration of humanity's complex relationship with nature and, by extension, with itself. I employ formal devices—restricted color palettes, careful consideration of the tensions between grounds and selective use of line and shape—to further the dialogue between aesthetics, content and form. What results in the work is my own unique visual system—imbued with cultural, natural and scientific context from my extensive travels and choice of locations all over the world. I am currently engaged in creating two major bodies of work, Lost In Paradise and The Oldest Living Things in the World. Lost In Paradise, of which Towards Christiana (Copenhagen) is a part, is a body of lush landscape work subtly addressing the complexity of natural beauty, while asking for the consideration of construction and destruction, desire and loss. The work functions within a framework that presupposes free will, and the loss as a perceived or self-imposed one, allowing for either a search for meaning or, conversely, a willful misinterpretation of that which is already obtained. Lost in Paradise is meant to comment on the contemporary zeitgeist via a landscape that is as seductive as it is overlooked.
Rachel Sussman, b. 1975, grew up in Baltimore, punctuated by stints in Santa Fe and Nicoya, Costa Rica. She received her BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in 1998 and has been awarded artist's residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Cooper Union and Vermont Studio Center. She is currently a member of the Macdowell Fellows Executive Committee and was named Evelyn Stefansson Nef Fellow in 2005. In 2007, she served as Thomas P. Johnson Distinguished Visiting Artist at Rollins College. Over the past 10 years, Sussman has exhibited in the U.S. and Europe. New York venues include the Museum of Natural History, Jen Bekman, Christie's, New Century Artists, Pierogi, Momenta, Artists Space, Cue Art Foundation and Galapagos Art Space. Her work has also been shown at the LA Design Center, University of Pennsylvania and Vox Populi in Philadelphia; Photography 2005 at the Renaissance Society in Chicago; Stenersenmuseet in Norway; D21 Kunstraum, Pierogi Liepzig, as well as Artnews Projects and Galerie Engler & Piper, Berlin. Additionally, Sussman is an Interactive Producer managing projects ranging for NBC.com's Homicide and Saturday Night Live sites to educational software employing speech recognition technologies. She also performed trapeze as part of the duo The Amazing Siblings in venues throughout New York, though her acrobatic career was cut short when she was sidelined by a rotator cuff injury.