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Susanna Heller: Phantom Pain

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Mira Schor writes about the exhibition Susanna Heller: Phantom Pain at Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, on view through April 20, 2013. Schor directs her attention specifically to a group of paintings Heller made of her husband while he recovered from a serious illness.

Schor writes that "[Heller] sat in the hospital making hundreds of drawings, of her husband lost in a forest of medical machinery, and of the vistas of the East River soaring outside the hospital window… these paintings of immensely difficult painful subject matter are painted with a vigorous simplicity that allows the viewer and the subject to simply be, 'lost in thought,' in the turbulent space she is always looking to embody, with all the horror and melancholy of a life transformed by sudden, dramatic, near fatal illness. The human figure and the very particular figure of her husband created a challenge to one of the core aspects of her approach in the studio—that of doubt that haunts every brush stroke, and something new to her work happens in these portraits that is different than the encounter with landscape…"

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