January 26 — April 7, 2024
Artist: Suzanne Husky
Curator: Lauranne Germond
In the great tradition of naturalistic illustration, Suzanne Husky invites us to reconsider the deep time of rivers through the geopolitical history of alliances between humans and beavers. An epic adventure, conceived with the collaboration of the philosopher-researcher Baptiste Morizot, which teems with tasty sketches, and re-anchors us in a world vaster and more wonderful than that of human history: the great history of life.
For 8 million years, in all the rivers of the northern hemisphere, there were beavers. Considered the greatest transformer of his environment after man, it was he who brought life for a long time. It produced waterscapes and wetlands teeming with biodiversity. He was venerated, sometimes deified, for this and we find the trace of his presence in many toponyms and hydronyms of France. But, gradually, human geography took the place of the geography of beavers, leading to its virtual disappearance from our rivers, our cultures and our imaginations, and, with it, the collapse of an entire ecosystem. Today, however, the reintroduction of the beaver is advocated by the IPCC as one of the first nature-based solutions to repair our dying environments and deal with climate change.
By drawing on the great universe of images, graphic and epistemological innovations that punctuate the history of drawing, from illustrated narratives, to naturalistic plates, through mythological allegories, or militant graphics, Suzanne Husky reconsiders the complex components of the water cycle. It perpetuates the history of the aesthetic staging of scientific knowledge by restoring the beaver to its rightful place for To revive the forgotten face of the healthy rivers, the thousand and one species in decline that usually populate its ecosystem, and to revive our original connection to the wetland. His drawings are a tribute to the providential animal as well as to its defenders. They advocate a new alliance with the living and give hope and a desire to join forces to restore the world to its beauty.
Curator of the exhibition
Suzanne Husky, co-conceived with Baptiste Morizot, The Castor Effect, 2023, watercolour on paper © Courtesy of Galerie Alain Gutharc
Born in 1975, lives and works in San Francisco
French-American artist Suzanne Husky puts the connection to the land at the center of her work. Like a river that grows and makes its bed by embracing the diversity of the nourishing lands and the flows that feed it, the artist amplifies his sensitive relationship with the world by constantly renewing his practices, his knowledge and his know-how. She masters the arts of the hand - drawing, ceramics, tapestry, sculpture, textiles; Since her teenage years, she has been continuously trained in those of the land - horticulture, landscape, agroecology, herbalism -; and rubs shoulders with all the thinkers, naturalists and activists whose research, lifestyles and actions she disseminates through her emblematic images. This is to observe the forms of domination over the living and their interconnections, while sowing possible futures or alliances, capable of revitalizing our soils and our lives.
His works can take the form of an aggraded (regenerated) soil, a forest garden, the search for the knowledge of the land present in tales, a tapestry on birds and pedogenesis (a set of processes which, in interaction with each other, lead to the formation, transformation or differentiation of soils) or an impressive corpus of natural drawings that tell the story of biophysical complexity, cultural and political aspects of the river. In 2016, with Stéphanie Sagot, she created Le Nouveau Ministère de l'Agriculture, a fictitious institution that aims to unmask the absurdities of French agricultural policies and proposes concrete solutions to get out of an extractivist model of society.
A graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, Suzanne Husky has exhibited regularly in the United States: at San Francisco International Airport (2017), at the De Young Museum (2010), at the Triennale Bay Area Now 5 at the YBCA in San Francisco (2008), at the World Financial Center in New York or at Art Basel Los Angeles and the Headland Center for the Arts in California. She has also exhibited at the Villa Medici, the Domaine de Chamarande (2023), the IAC Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes, the Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA in Bordeaux (2020), the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2020).
Winner of the Drawing Now! (2023) and the first Prize of the Choi Foundation for Contemporary Art (2021), she participated in the Biennale de Lyon (2022), received a commission from the Maison Rui- nart as part of Frieze LA 2022 exhibited during the fair, the 16th Istanbul Biennial (2019), those of Timișoara and Bordeaux Evento and was invited in residence by Pollen in Monflanquin or at the art and design center The kitchen in Nègrepelisse.
Suzanne Husky is represented by Galerie Alain Gutharc in Paris.
The Drawing Now Prize
For 12 years, the Drawing Now Prize has been supporting contemporary creation and highlighting the pioneering role of galleries, rewarding the work of an artist presented on the stand of his gallery at the Drawing Now Art Fair.
On the occasion of this12th Drawing Now Prize, the formula evolves in order to give more scope and visibility to the practice of the winning artist and to implement this award as a grant to support creation where the Drawing sphere - in particular Drawing Now Art Fair and the Drawing Lab - joins forces to offer: 5,000 euros in endowment, 10,000 euros in production support, a 3-month exhibition at the Drawing Lab and the publication of a monographic catalogue. The selection of the nominees and the winning artist was made by the members of the show's selection committee, composed for the 2023 edition of:
— Joana P. R. Neves, Art Director of Drawing Now Art Fair;
— Emilie Bouvard, art historian, heritage curator and scientific director of the Giacometti Foundation;
— Anita Haldemann, Deputy Director and Head of the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Kunstmuseum Basel;
— Catherine Hellier du Verneuil, art historian and collector;
— Kate Macfarlane, co-founder of Drawing Room and curator;
— Pascal Neveux, director of the Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain Picardie;
— Jean Papahn, CEO of SOFERIM, patron of the Drawing Now Prize;
— Philippe Piguet, art critic and independent curator;
— Daniel Schildge, collector;
— Dirk Snauwaert, Director of WIELS in Brussels.
Winners of the Drawing Now Prize since its inception in 2011:
Catherine Melin (2011), Clément Bagot (2012), Didier Rittener (2013), Cathryn Boch (2014), Abdelkader Benchamma (2015), Jochen Gerner (2016), Lionel Sabatté (2017), Michail Michailov (2018), Lucie Picandet (2019), Nicolas Daubanes (2021), Karine Rougier (2022) and Suzanne Husky (2023).