Fluent~Collaborative & testsite are pleased to present Next Moves, a collaboration with artist Sarah Canright and independent arts writer and curator Sue Graze. The project opens on Sunday, November 4 with a public reception from 4 to 6 PM, and a conversation between the artists at 4:30 PM.
Sarah Canright and Sue Graze have much in common. Gender. Art world experiences. And now with substantial careers behind them their differences are equally striking. Sarah makes objects. She uses her craft to transform modest materials into painted surfaces imbued with taut visual energy and psychological intensity. Sue organizes, interprets, and makes meaning of what artists like Sarah create. And, after over 40 years as a curator and arts administrator, she is still in the throes of her first serious love - painting. The inexplicable metamorphosis of nothing into something, of turning a physically flat surface into a profoundly personal experience, Sarah Canright’s art assuredly and forcefully hits that sweet spot.
For this testsite project, Sarah and Sue would together and continue to define and explore this art-making process. Today the value of being older women in the art world gives them both a special perch. Not sentimental or nostalgic but clear-eyed, strong and fearless—using experience and wisdom to move confidently forward.
Sarah Canright’s life as an artist began at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Through friendships established while a student, she became associated with the Chicago imagists, and her early paintings integrated the imagist aesthetic with feminist values. With the group loosely categorized as the Imagists, she began showing in Chicago at the Hyde Park Art Center and, later, the Phillis Kind Gallery. Imagist beginnings eventually morphed into an abstraction grounded in a feminist sensibility; and representational form was eliminated in the work that followed. Later, Canright moved to New York where she was represented by the Pam Adler Gallery, exhibited her books of cut and woven drawings at Franklin Furnace, and was included in the 1974 Whitney Biennial. Over the course of her career, she has been awarded three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grants and a New York State Council for the Arts Fellowship. She has shown in multiple themed or group exhibitions over the years.
Her teaching career began by accepting Visiting Artist positions that opened up at various universities around the country and then settled into steady employment by the mid 80’s, dividing her time between Princeton and the University of Texas—one semester in each place. In the ‘90s, she accepted a full-time appointment at the University of Texas. For years, she maintained a loft in NY, where she spent the summer months, but, now, lives full-time in Austin.
Her work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Smithsonian, The Madison Museum of Art, The Minneapolis Museum of Art, and the Blanton Museum of Art.
Sue Graze has been an active professional in the art world for over 40 years. Currently, she is an independent arts writer and curator. In 2015, she served as Interim Executive Director of Artpace, San Antonio, for 12 months. Previously, she was a lecturer in the Art and Art History Department at the University of Texas at Austin—developing a new artists’ Professional Practices curriculum. From 1999 through 2011, Graze was Executive Director of Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin—now, The Contemporary Austin. During her almost thirteen-year tenure there, she established an active, internationally recognized contemporary art exhibition program and was responsible for a major award-winning facility renovation and expansion completed in the fall of 2010. From 1997-1999, she served as Assistant Director of Programs and Senior Curator at the Miami Art Museum. Prior to that, she served as Director of the Center for Research in Contemporary Art at the University of Texas at Arlington. From 1981 to 1990, Graze was Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art.