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Susanna Coffey is the F.H. Sellers Professor in Painting at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She received a BFA from from the University of Connecticut at Storrs and an MFA from The Yale School of Art. Her portraits are investigations of the iconic human head. The work is driven by questions about what a portrait image can mean. What is a beautiful appearance? Why do conventionally gendered images involve caricature? Can inchoate feeling-states be adequately portrayed?
Meticulously observed, most works show her in many guises and locations: under dramatic lighting, highly costumed, inside a studio, within landscapes, foliage, places of fiery devastation, and amidst phantasmagoric patterns. Some portraits seem almost entirely abstract with only the barest suggestion of a human face.
Coffey’s artwork has been exhibited in The Weatherspoon Art Museum, The Aldrich Museum, The Hood Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, The American Academy of Arts and Letters and others. Her work is included in the collections of The Yale University Art Gallery, The Art
Institute of Chicago, The Minneapolis Museum of Art and others. Among her awards are The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award. Susanna Coffey lives and works in New York City
Susanna Coffey’s work is represented by Steven Harvey Fine Arts Projects in New York City, Alpha Gallery in Boston and Galeria Isabel Ignacio in Seville, Spain.