The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami presents the South Florida premiere of “Pictures of Susan,” a feature documentary about rising New Zealand-based artist Susan Te Kahurangi King. With the enduring support of her family, King creates expressive, boldly undulating works of color and line that frequently coalesce into appropriated cartoon-like characters, predating Pop art. The film examines the artist’s upbringing and earliest works, her twenty-year dormant period, and the recent resurgence in interest from the art world for her idiosyncratic drawings since resuming in 2008.
Susan Te Kahurangi King (b. 1951, Te Aroha, New Zealand) is an artist living in Auckland, New Zealand, whose work has begun to receive worldwide attention for its innovative and expressive approach to drawing. As a young child, King stopped speaking and has since been diagnosed as severely autistic. Her gifts as an artist were recognized by her family at an early age but would take decades before gaining broader recognition. Since 2009, King’s work has been shown with Chris Byrne at the Outsider Art Fair in New York and Paris, as well as Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, and Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand. Her work is in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland. Committed to furthering research on Susan Te Kahurangi King and contemporary self-taught artists, the American Folk Art Museum has created a fellowship in her name. King currently lives and works with one of her sisters in the Hamilton neighborhood of Auckland.