Susan Bee’s paintings and collages have been described as “pastoral psychedelia” and ” a savage mix of Expressionism and Pop schadenfreude”. Born and raised in New York City by artist parents, Bee is a longtime supporter of feminist art and women artists. She spent her student days in the 1970s attending AIR Gallery events; she later joined the historic gallery and is currently a member. Bee is also a co-founder, with fellow artist and writer Mira Schor, of the influential art journal M/E/A/N/I/N/G (1986 – 2016). During our visit to her Caroll Gardens, Brooklyn studio, Bee discusses the challenging realities of being a woman artist, the heady days of 1970s feminist activism, and her longtime involvement with the Language Poets, through her husband, Charles Bernstein. She also delves into the deep influence that her parents’ experience as Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe has had on her work and life.
People, places and things mentioned: Robert Bresson, Marsden Hartley, Florine Stettheimer, Edvard Munch, Rückenfigur, Caspar David Friedrich, Hrag Vartanian, Phong Bui, Helen Frankenthaler, Kat Griefen, Joan Snitzer, Nancy Spero, Howardina Pindell, Ana Mendieta, Rosalind Krauss, Kate Millett, Guerrilla Girls, Kara Rooney, Barbara Zucker, Virginia Lust Gallery, David Salle, William Pope L., Leon Golub, Lawrence Weiner, Elizabeth Murray, Pat Steir, Miriam Schapiro, Adrienne Rich, Joe Brainard, Anne Waldman, John Ashbery, Ann Lauterbach, Yayoi Kusama, Alison Knowles, Carolee Schneemann, Fluxus, Maria Lassnig, Emma Amos, Carmen Herrera, Frank Stella, Alice Neel, Chaim Gross, Ron Silliman, Susan Howe, Johanna Drucker, Jerry Rothenberg, Abigail Child . . .