New Zealander, contemporary.
Born 1951, Te Aroha, New Zealand.
Susan Te Kahurangi King doesn’t speak with words, but shares much of her world through extraordinary drawings.
Born in New Zealand in 1951, King stopped speaking around age four but drew prolifically through her thirties, when, suddenly, she stopped. In 2008, almost twenty years later, she resumed her work, picking up where she left off. Since then, King has continued her remarkable output of drawings in graphite, pencil, crayon, ink, and pens of various types. Intense, whimsical, wide-ranging, and haunting, her references and subjects dare us to interpret them in any logical way—and we fail. Still, we remain engaged and intrigued by their skillful audaciousness.
King’s family has supported her art making with unwavering faith and affection. One of a dozen children in a tumultuous household, her mother saved and preserved her drawings in trunks and cases. Some were dated and annotated. They have all been organized and catalogued. King's drawings and sketchbooks range from simple images to rich, fully drawn pages alive with complex textures that defy interpretation. Each piece reveals a profoundly active imagination and hints at the depth of King’s output, offering viewers a peek into her worlds and those she has yet to reveal.
2016, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
2015, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
2015, Interfaces: Outsider Art and the Mainstream, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
2014, Susan Te Kahurangi King: Drawings from Many Worlds, curated by Chris Byrne, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York
2014, Outsider Art Fair New York, Chris Byrne + Marquand Books, New York
2012, Look, Know, Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
2009, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Callan Park Gallery, University of Sydney, Australia
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland
Nadel, Dan, "There Is No Center," Modern Painters, June 2016.
Hirsch, Faye, "Susan Te Kahurangi King," Art in America, March 13, 2015.
Saltz, Jerry, "Seeing Out Loud: The Best Things I Saw at Frieze New York and the Outsider Art Fair," Vulture, May 13, 2014.
Ebony, David, "In Step with the Outsiders: The Outsider Art Fair," Art in America, May 9, 2014.
Rosenberg, Karen, "Unorthodox, Maybe, but Scarcely on the Fringe," New York Times, May 8, 2014.
Gómez, Edward M., "Outsider Art Preview: Blurred Categories and Fairs Big and Small," Hyperallergic, May 3, 2014.
Pictures of Susan. Dir. Dan Salmon. Octopus Pictures, 2012.