Suzanne McClelland

A singular voice in contemporary art, Suzanne McClelland (b. Jacksonville, FL.) examines the visual, semantic, and acoustic dimensions of language. Frequently beginning her paintings with a lexicon of words, phrases, characters, or numbers, McClelland builds upon these forms through drawing and writing, techniques that become interchangeable in her practice. Repeating, burying, and dissolving these fragments of language, the artist alternately obscures and exposes their linguistic origins. Throughout her practice, McClelland parses the limitations and malleability of communication, exploring the methods by which speech can become text, text can become drawing, and how the meanings of these fragments of language morph across time and space.


McClelland’s work has been exhibited extensively since the early 1990s. Solo exhibitions of her work have been presented at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT; the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, New York, NY; the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA; and the Orlando Museum of Art, FL, among others. Her work was included in the 1993 and 2014 Whitney Biennials, and she has been included in group exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New  York, NY; Parrish Art Museum, Watermill, NY; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, MO; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY. McClelland is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019, an Anonymous Was A Woman Award, and a Nancy Graves Foundation Grant; and she has participated in international residencies, most recently the Troedsson Villa Residency in Nikko, Japan in 2019. Her work is held in numerous public collections including that of the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL; the Walker Art Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, among others. McClelland earned an MFA at the School of the Visual Arts, New York, NY and a BFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. McClelland lives and works in Brooklyn and Orient, NY.