The Savant Garde: The Work of Susan Brown
Susan Brown has been drawing since she was a small child. She was diagnosed with autism at the age of four, and her early drawings reflect fixations on the themes of women, cars and spirals. As an adult, she worked as a dishwasher at Friendly’s where she used found cardboard to make her signature grid-like drawings. Celebrating her tenth year at Pure Vision Arts, Susan Brown has become a fixture at the studio. Susan makes the long commute from Sayville, New York every week, come rain or shine. Over the years Susan has created a vast collection of paintings and drawings.
In The Art of Susan Brown, Esther Cohen wrote that: “To know Susan Brown is to experience her pictures. They are, in so many different ways, a portrait of her life: a life as complicated, contradictory, mysterious, and magical as the life an artist lives.” Influenced by her childhood memories of growing up on Long Island’s South Shore, her paintings and drawings most commonly depict images of cars, boats, landscapes and gridded pictures of her mother. When asked about paintings of her mother, Susan can tell you the exact date she wore each dress or blouse and the history of the garment represented. Susan shares her father’s great love of music and grew up in house where the record player was always on. Each day she brings in a collection of CDs to play in the studio. Her brush stroke can be described as a lyrical one, perhaps influenced by the jazz she listens to while painting.
Susan Brown has had a long exhibition history. In addition to Pure Vision Art’s special exhibitions, Susan’s work has been shown at the Outsider Art Fairs in New York City, the Hamptons and in Vienna, at the Ricco Maresca Gallery, the United Nations, the PS122 Gallery, the Olof Gallery in the Netherlands and has had work in the City Museum in Washington D.C. and the Museum of American Folk Art auction amongst many others. Her work has been written about in publications such as Out of Art, Drawing Autism and Envision Folk Art Magazine and she is most recently featured in Debra Hosseini’s The Art of Autism; Shifting Perceptions. A much-loved outsider artist, her work exists in many corporate and private collections.