Spotlight

Susan Hefuna

Pi Artworks, London (S10)

Susan Hefuna, Untitled, 1994, ink on paper, 13.5 × 20 cm. Courtesy: Pi Artworks, London

Susan Hefuna, Untitled, 1994, ink on paper, 13.5 × 20 cm. Courtesy: Pi Artworks, London

For our inaugural participation at Frieze New York 2019, Pi Artworks will have a solo presentation of Susan Hefuna's early drawings. Susan Hefuna, born 1962 in Germany has Egyptian and German roots. Susan Hefuna travels and draws on a variety of influences and traditions from around the world in her work. In doing so, she has developed her own unique artistic language. For Frieze New York's Spotlight presentation curated by Laura Hoptman, Pi Artworks will present Hefuna's drawings from early 90's. These drawings have never been visible in public before. In 1994, Susan Hefuna started using tracing paper and ink to create her international well known multilayered drawings. Her ‘tracing paper drawings’ have titles such as buildings, cityscapes, windows. The works on paper first received international recognition when exhibited at Venice Biennial 2009, at Fare Mondi, curated by Daniel Birnbaum.

Many of Susan Hefuna’s drawings are inspired by architecture, cities like Cairo, New York and Istanbul or by the ceilings of traditional houses in Sharjah. In 2014 Bettina Mathes wrote in “Traces of You” an essay dedicated to Hefuna’s show: Susan Hefuna: Another Place, curated by Hoor Al Quasimi, Sharjah Art Foundation: ...“I think of these drawings as a “corporeal map” as a way of relating to a place, a city, a body, a history, that combines the experiential — always corporeal, always sensual — with the abstract, without ever subjugating one to the other" ...” they remind me of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. It is the escape route of our imagination that keeps us sane. For when the boundaries collapse, when the safety of that other place can't be maintained, when past and present suddenly converge — we fall apart.”.

Susan Hefuna’s work has been included in numerous international solo and group exibitions. Exhibtions include But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise curated by Sara Raza, Galleria d’Arte Moderna (GAM), Milan; The Creative Act: Performance Process Presence, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Contemporary Art of the Middle East, LACMA, Los Angeles; Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, MoMA, New York. A mayor survey of her practice curated by Hoor Al Quasimi Susan Hefuna: Another Place was held at Bait Al Serkal, Sharjah Art Foundation. Hefuna’s work has also been included in the Sydney Biennale, Venice Biennale, Seville Biennial, Riwaq Biennale and Sharjah Biennial. Susan Hefuna was awarded the international Contemporary Drawing Prize of the Daniel & Florence Guerlain Art Foundation in Paris. Her work is part of the permanent collections at the Pompidou, Paris: Guggenheim, NYC and Abu Dhabi; British Museum and V&A, London.