The artist’s first Boston exhibition will feature a gallery-sized installation created from suspended and layered unstretched canvases

(Boston, MA—July 19, 2019) On August 21, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) opens the first Boston presentation of Argentine-Swiss artist Vivian Suter (b. 1949, Buenos Aires, Argentina), who has been living and working Guatemala since the 1980s. Comprised of dozens of individual mixed-media paintings, this exhibition will feature a single installation by Suter in which unstretched canvases flood the gallery, creating a canopy of color and shape evocative of the natural environment surrounding her home and studio in Panajachel, Guatemala. On view from August 21 through December 31, 2019, Vivian Suter is organized by Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator.

“Vivian Suter’s approach to installing her paintings is incredibly unique,” says Erickson. “She layers, suspends, and rotates her canvases, inviting visitors to meander through her work and its sumptuous gestures and colors.”

Suter works in close partnership with the natural environment surrounding her home of thirty years by Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. Her method often involves moving her canvases between the indoors and outdoors and exposing them to the climate in order to allow nature to comingle with her broad swaths of painted, vivid color. The mud and rain, insects that crawl across the soil, and avocados and mangos that drop from trees work in concert with Suter’s gestural compositions, which are inspired by the surrounding vegetation and landscape. To exhibit her work, she creates installations by layering and suspending unstretched canvases in space, referencing the organic modes of hanging and draping her canvases in the studio.

About the artist

Vivian Suter was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, studied in Basel, Switzerland, and currently lives and works in Panajachel, Guatemala. Solo exhibitions of the artist’s work have been held at numerous international institutions including Gladstone Gallery, New York (2019), The Power Plant, Toronto (2018), Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois (2018), Jewish Museum, New York (2017), Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2014), and Kunstmuseum Olten, Switzerland (2004), and also included in documenta 14 (2017).

Curator Tour: Ruth Erickson on Vivian Suter

Thu, Sep 5, 6 PM
Delve into Vivian Suter’s vivid canvases with Mannion Family Curator Ruth Erickson to learn more about the artist’s creative method. Based in Guatemala, Suter engages in intense dialogue with the natural environment surrounding her home and studio.

About the ICA

Since its founding in 1936, the ICA has shared the pleasures of reflection, inspiration, imagination, and provocation that contemporary art offers with its audiences. A museum at the intersection of contemporary art and civic life, the ICA has advanced a bold vision for amplifying the artist’s voice and augmenting art’s role as educator, incubator, and convener for social engagement. Its innovative exhibitions, performances, and educational programs provide access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas. Spanning two locations across Boston Harbor, the ICA offers year-round programming at its iconic building in Boston’s Seaport and seasonal programming (May-September) at the Watershed in an East Boston shipyard.

The ICA is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA, 02210. The Watershed is located at 256 Marginal Street, East Boston, MA 02128. For more information, call 617-478-3100 or visit our website at Follow the ICA at FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.       

Support for Vivian Suter is generously provided by Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté and Alan and Vivien Hassenfeld.