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02 Mar 2018

Suzanne Unrein: Animal Dreams


Reviewed by Elizabeth Johnson

Suzanne Unrein dreamed of succumbing to wild animals. She accepted her fate in the jaws of an alligator and a lion.

Her paintings stage trans-species drama in a fever-dream jungle, contrasting patches of deep shadow with random sunlight. She renders people and creatures with bold, gestural lines that reveal or elide details. Fragments of branches, faces, arms, legs, wings, and paws recombine in a riot of abstract pattern. The paintings evoke the danger and the rarity of heightened awareness of wild animals, yet preserve their perennial separateness and innocence.

The spectacle of foxes, crocodiles, wolves, dogs, swans, and tigers witnessing and/or having sex with humans is muted by the remove of theater, and recalls tableaux that pose living actors like statues. Puzzled-together beasts stretch, fight, rest and sometimes comically imitate people, making them represent the swooning, preoccupied figures in the process of shedding their inhibitions.

Exhibition Suzanne Unrein: Animal Dreams
Start date 15 Feb 2018
End date 15 Jun 2018
Presenter GROUPE link
Venue 198 Bowery, New York City, NY, USA map
Image Suzanne Unrein, The In-Between, 2017, oil on canvas, 53 x 72 inches, courtesy of GROUPE

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