Susan kae Grant: Shadowing Grace

Saturday, April 15, 2023 10:00 AM - Saturday, September 16, 2023 5:00 PM
The Grace Museum
102 Cypress Street Abilene, TX 79601

The eternal theme of light and dark has always interested artists. It is given importance in philosophical, technical, and mystical intentions. A master of light and shadow, Susan kae Grant conveys much more than just a play of shadows and silhouettes in this exhibition through a site-specific installation of works on fabric, single works on paper, triptychs, a video projection, as well as a studio recreation.

Susan kae Grant, The Bird Collector, 2012, archive inkjet print, Gift of Alice and Bill Wright


Susan kae Grant is an inventive and influential lens-based artist, educator, and early proponent of photographic book arts. She utilizes staging and directing in producing the bodies of work she has exhibited since the late 1970’s using shadow as metaphor to create fabricated narratives that explore dreams, memory and the unconscious. The resulting photographic images entice the viewer to enter a world of the fantastical, the dream state, and the surreal margins that are part of the human experience.

Fine art is a carefully calculated visual experience created to focus attention on an artificially manipulated image. In the quest for relatable perfection, artists often selectively employ the principles and elements of art. The art elements include, among others, the often-misunderstood term value, referring to the gradient scale of light and dark. Artist Susan kae Grant takes value to the extreme emphasizing the fact that without light there would be no sight or insight by omitting the entire color spectrum and working primarily in black and white. Grant’s photographs are the product of significant collaboration of artistic and scientific investigation into the nature of dreams, memory and the unconscious. Haunting photographs recreate the fragmented layers experienced in dreams by exposing the veil between reality and perception.

The works of art selected for this exhibition draw on years of research gathered through REM sleep conducted by Grant in collaboration with noted sleep researcher, Dr. John Herman. Data collected from the artist’s own REM sleep cycle inspired her creation of the pieces on view from her lauded Night Journey series. Inspired by the history of the Hotel Grace, the artist transforms the first floor galleries into a site specific experience in response to the echoes of the passage of time and the enduring resonance of fleeting memory.  

 In 2008, Grant was named Cornaro Professor of Visual Art, Emerita at Texas Women’s University where she served as head of Photography & Book Arts from 1981-2017. Grant has a long history of presenting lectures, workshops and exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally, including the United States, Canada, China, Europe, Australia, British Columbia, Africa, Guatemala, and Japan. Judy Tedford Deaton, Chief Curator, Director of Exhibitions and Collections, The Grace Museum

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