Announcing details of Lisson Gallery's presentation at Frieze Masters
18 September 2019
To celebrate the extraordinary contributions that Susan Hiller (1940–2019) made in regards to furthering the fields of feminism, post-conceptualism and research-based art practices, a special hang of early paintings, photographic works and sculptural objects by the American-born artist will take place at Frieze Masters, in the same week as a private memorial at Tate Modern commemorating her life and work. Organised in collaboration with her estate, this solo presentation pays homage to Hiller’s multi-faceted career, featuring works that explore interconnecting interests and formative themes within her art, such as notions of the interior self, the aura, automatic writing and the female author, as well as a never-before-seen display of her earliest extant works, entitled Studies for ‘Home’ (1968).
The scale and subject matter of the domestic reappear in works such as Alphabet (Girls), one of her 1980s Wallpaper Paintings that highlight the formation and indoctrination of gendered stereotypes as well as suggesting the power of dreams and language to shape childhood imagination. Hiller’s interest in the homely – or perhaps the unheimlich – is further reflected in the feel of the entire booth, which recalls her cosy living room arrangement currently installed at Tate Britain, at the centre of which flickers a suggestive, trancelike film, Belshazzar’s Feast (1983-84). Hiller herself appears in early Photomat Portraits, automated self-portraits dating from the early 1970s, which she described at the time as “introducing an active sense of co-operation among artist, subject and machine”, or else in disembodied Hand Paintings, which recall prehistoric cave art. Hiller is also the subject in Study for Ten Months (1977-79), which documents her pregnancy, treating it in the manner of a rigorously conceptual work of art, to explore the construction of female identity, positioning her as both subject and object.
Frieze Masters is on view in Regent's Park from 3–6 October.
Image: Susan Hiller, My Kind of Guy, 1984 - 2019, Sofa upholstered in fabric made of men's silk ties