Susanna Heller: Catastrophe is her Muse

Susannah Heller’s gritty catastrophic paintings flow from the ruins of 9/11, and from the personal calamity of her husband’s battle with flesh-eating disease.  Above: Last Blues of Dusk.  Below: Bill in the Hospital

Heller had been artist in residence at the World Trade Centre for several years before 9/11, viewing New York from the 91st floor of the north tower, two floors below where the first jet hit.  She became a chronicler of that disaster.

Above: Full of Holes Panorama, John Davis Gallery, NY.  Below: Exploding City

But there was more to come.

As the psychological dust from that calamity finally settled, devastation came on the personal front, with her husband of 17 years, sociology professor Bill DiFazio, suffering a bout of necrotizing fasciitis, which devoured his right leg. – From Canadian Art magazine’s fascinating review

Heller produced many of her current pieces while sitting in hospital, including Big Black Cloud, below.

Paintings on exhibit at Toronto’s Olga Korper gallery reflect the characteristic darkness of her art.

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