The Paradoxes of Gallerist, Artist, Alum Suzanne Jackson

Friday, September 27, 2019

FRIEZE -- After graduating high school, Jackson attended San Francisco State University, where she was taught by one of only two black instructors she would ever have. He was tough, she recalls, and taught social science, a subject Jackson had no real interest in at the time: ‘I didn’t think social science was important, but it turns out everything in our lives as artists relates to what happens in the world’. In college, she took her first formal art classes and spent most of her time dancing, painting and writing, before participating in a State Department tour of South America with Music Theatre USA. The influence of the stage can be seen in her early paintings, which feature flowing movements and languid, abstract spirit-figures. Take, for example, Flash (1976). In it, the silhouette of a spritely figure emerges, seemingly frozen in the orb of a stage light. In the foreground is the profile of another figure, wearing what could be a headdress from a production of Antony and Cleopatra (1607).