Born 1951, in Te Aroha, New Zealand.
Susan Te Kahurangi King doesn’t speak with words, but shares much of her world through extraordinary drawings.
Born in New Zealand in 1951, King stopped speaking around age four but drew prolifically through her thirties, when, suddenly, she stopped. In 2008, almost twenty years later, she resumed her work, picking up where she left off. Since then, King has continued her remarkable output of drawings in graphite, pencil, crayon, ink, and pens of various types. Intense, whimsical, wide-ranging, and haunting, her references and subjects dare us to interpret them in any logical way—and we fail. Still, we remain engaged and intrigued by their skillful audaciousness.
King’s family has supported her art making with unwavering faith and affection. One of a dozen children in a tumultuous household, her mother saved and preserved her drawings in trunks and cases. Some were dated and annotated. They have all been organized and catalogued. King's drawings and sketchbooks range from simple images to rich, fully drawn pages alive with complex textures that defy interpretation. Each piece reveals a profoundly active imagination and hints at the depth of King’s output, offering viewers a peek into her worlds and those she has yet to reveal.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Susan Te Kahurangi King, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
Susan Te Kahurangi King, Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
Susan Te Kahurangi King: Drawings from Many Worlds (curated by Chris Byrne), Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY
Susan Te Kahurangi King, Outsider Art Fair, Chris Byrne + Marquand Books, New York, NY
Susan Te Kahurangi King, Outsider Art Fair, Chris Byrne + Marquand Books, Paris, France
Introducing Susan Te Kahurangi King (curated by Sophie Oiseau and Aaron King-Cole), the High Seas, Auckland, New Zealand
Susan Te Kahurangi King (curated by Peter Day), Callan Park Gallery, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Interfaces: Outsider Art and the Mainstream, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Word Builders: Bob Gerrard, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Harry Watson, The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Susan Te Kahurangi King | Shannon Te Ao: from the one I call my own, City Gallery Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
PURPLE STATES (curated by Sam Gordon), Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY
Promenades, Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
Shit Like Hair, White Flag Projects, St. Louis, MI
Secret Garden, Hastings City Art Gallery, Hastings, New Zealand
Local Knowledge (curated by Stuart Shepherd), MADmusée, Liège, Belgium
Look, Know, Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
Nadel, Dan. “There is No Center,” Modern Painters, June.
Laster, Paul. “Drawing from Many Worlds, Susan Te Kahurangi King,” ArtAsiaPacific Magazine, May/June 2015.
Amery, Mark. “Inside Out,” New Zealand Listener, July 7.
Hirsch, Faye. “Susan Te Kahurangi King,” Art in America, March 13.
Rudick, Nicole. “Staff Picks: Crayoned Cartoons and Computer Corruption,” Paris Review, December 19.
Frank, Priscilla. “Here Are the 15 Best Art Exhibitions of 2014,” Huffington Post, December 16.
Saltz, Jerry. “The 19 Best Art Shows of 2014,” Vulture, December 10.
Ebony, David. “David Ebony’s Top 10 New York Gallery Shows for November,” artnet news, November 21.
Saltz, Jerry. “All Hail Susan Te Kahurangi King,” Vulture, November 21.
Rosenberg, Karen. “Art in Review, Susan Te Kahurangi King: ‘Drawings from Many Worlds’,” New York Times, November 20.
Gómez, Edward M. "Explosive Drawing: Susan King's Mash-ups, Strange Landscapes, and Other Worlds," Hyperallergic, November 8.
Frank, Priscilla. “This Outsider Stopped Speaking As A Child, Communicates Solely Through Her Work,” Huffington Post, November 7.
Indrisek, Scott. “The Many Worlds of Susan Te Kahurangi King,” BLOUIN ARTINFO, November 5.
Saltz, Jerry. "Seeing Out Loud: The Best Things I Saw at Frieze New York and the Outsider Art Fair," Vulture, May 13.
Ebony, David. "In Step with the Outsiders: The Outsider Art Fair," Art in America, May 9.
Rosenberg, Karen. "Unorthodox, Maybe, but Scarcely on the Fringe," New York Times, May 8.
Gómez, Edward M. "Outsider Art Preview: Blurred Categories and Fairs Big and Small," Hyperallergic, May 3.
Gómez, Edward M. “Remarkable Draftsmanship from Way Down Under,” Raw Vision 83.
Salmon, Dan (Dir.), Pictures of Susan, Octopus Pictures, 2012.