Susan Fitzsimmons, Texas Sculpture Group
From Mobile, Alabama
The recent article in Art in America,(March –April 2020) puts my work of the last 34 years in context. I have been working in varied media (wood, lucite, bronze, found objects, performance, writing) since my one person exhibits in New York at Just Above Midtown in 1977-1979. I left New York in 1981 believing that creativity evolves more from the periphery than the center. My last show at JAM was called Moving from the Transparent to the Invisible and reflected my growing dissatisfaction with the narrow fashions and politics of art. Since then, I have lived in upstate New York, Missouri, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama and in each locale I found new mediums and new phenomena I wished to explore. Mobility has added to the context of my work through enriching new associations, diverse landscapes and new media. Through my art and my teaching I have spread cross-cultural contexts, while continually examining the empathy that art teaches us.
Art in America, March 2020, page 78: “In an essay about the series, reprinted in the Topologies catalog, Bryant named Nengudi, David Hammons, Susan Fitzsimmons, Gini Hamilton and others as members of the “Contexturalist,” a group of artists who were defining zones of interchange between their works and external phenomena-as crucial sites of meaning. In 1977, Fitzsimmons had her first of several one person exhibitions at Just Above Midtown Gallery (JAM). Fitzsimmons’ work was recognized for its early innovation and use of multimedia, including plastics, wood, writing and performance in reviews by Barbara Cavaliere in Arts Magazine (1979), Art News (1980) and in catalogs by Richard Stankiewicz, Linda G. Bryant and April Kingsley.
Fitzsimmons has exhibited her work nationally and internationally in over 250 shows. Her one person exhibit in Texas in 2017 was reviewed in Sculpture Magazine.
She moved to Texas in 2010 to be Chair of Art at the University of Texas Pan American, and in 2013 was selected as Director of Art and Art History at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She was the Marialice Shary Shivers Endowed Chair of Art (2011-2014) for the UT system. She is currently Professor of Sculpture/chair at the University of South Alabama.