Susan Hefuna is fascinated in the networks and structures of connection that inhabit public spaces and how they become the framework for peoples interactions with each other, in particular how these networks become visible through and influenced by architectural models and city planning. Upon arriving at a city, she spends a few days traversing its streets and squares until this calmative process lulls her into a state in which she feels ready to compose work that will capture the atmosphere of the location. Her drawings, often her initial artistic response to a place, start with a single dot or line that unfolds in a single session without the need for preliminary drafts. The resulting work is not subjected to a pre-determined system but instead are intuitively composed and open to changes and subversions that are influenced by the specific location. Hefunas delicately composed structures suggest interlocking forms, such as DNA, embroidery, molecular structures and most significantly, buildings or maps. Each relating to a place not through reproducing its recognisable visual facets, but rather through materialising the abstract impression it has on the artist.
Susan Hefuna, b.1962, New York, Dusseldorf, Cairo. Major exhibitions include; But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa, Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, Galleria dArte Moderna Milano, Italy (2018); Long Winding Journeys: Contemporary Art and the Islamic Tradition, Katonah Museum of Art, New York, USA (2018); TOGATHER (solo), Whitworth Gallery, Manchester, UK (2017); Sol LeWitt - A tribute, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Den Haag, The Netherlands (2016); Imperfect Chronology, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2016); Susan Hefuna: Crossroads 2002-2015 (solo), Pi Artworks London, UK (2016); But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise, Guggenheim New York, USA (2016); The Strange and the Familiar (solo), UBS Schloss Wolfsberg, Switzerland (2015); Contemporary Art of the Middle East, LACMA, Los Angeles, USA (2015); Susan Hefuna: Another Place (solo), Sharjah Art Foundation, Bait Al Serkal, Sharjah (2014); Buildings (solo), Osthaus Museum, Hagen, Germany (2014); Here and Elsewhere, New Museum, New York, USA (2014); Nouvelles Vagues - Champs Elysees, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2013); On the Edgware Road, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK (2012); Edgware Road@Cairo 2010/1431 (solo), The Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt (2010); On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (2010); Fare Mondi, 53rd Venice Biennial, Italy (2009); and The Jameel Art Prize, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK (2009). Public collections include; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, UAE; Guggenheim NY, USA; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NY, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, USA; LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), CA, USA; The Louvre Museum, Paris, France; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE; Barjeel Art Foundation Collection, UAE, British Museum, UK and Victoria and Albert Museum, UK. Hefunas work is documented in a three volume publication, Pars Pro Toto, by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist released in 2008-2014.