New York-born, Berlin-based artist Susannah Martin reconnects humanity to nature through paintings that explore nudity and primordial innocence in paradisiacal landscapes filled with domestic animals and gentle wildlings.
They serve as a symbol that represents man in his purest and most original form in harmony with his eternal home: nature — a return to it, to be more precise. Its main references come from time immemorial, from the time of cavemen and from ancient civilizations in which nudity was something natural and widely present in the arts, sports, and religion, without taboos or the constant and latent connotation of eroticism. In this case, the Greek and Egyptian civilizations.
Realistic and at the same time peaceful – just ‘natural’ – is how Susannah Martin’s works of art could be described, for in spite of a harmonious idyll, the artist in no way hints at that paradise worth striving for. She shows no utopian wishful thinking, but rather creative possibilities. In an artistic way she concretizes a discourse which elucidates man’s dilemma by consistently concealing this. ‘Bathing’ men, women and children, as in the works ‘The River’ or ‘C-section’ , for example, should be something so natural, something so normal, almost banal even, yet still ‘beautiful’ as well, so that it would in principle be pointless to have to take as a central theme this bathing as a natural, an obvious leisure time activity. This is also the discursive crux, for that which is natural and obvious speaks for itself and needs no artistic involvement. When the artist, with good reason, hints at an awkward state of affairs, an imbalance between nature and corporeality, between man and his environment, this is the artistic impulse, which would be unnecessary if circumstances were in balance.Susannah Martin