Sightline 17
Susan Maakestad, "Sightline #17," 2020; Watercolor; inches Courtesy of the artist

Mallory and Wurtzburger Galleries

Susan Maakestad: The Expansive Moment

Apr 16, 2023 - Jul 9, 2023

Meet the Artist Reception | April 27, 2023

Using bands of bright, evocative watercolor, Memphis artist Susan Maakestad approaches the urban landscape with fresh eyes. After reviewing traffic camera footage of midwestern freeways, made publicly available on the internet, Maakestad abstracts these seemingly banal landscapes, removing any trace of human presence and transforming them into meditations on light and color. By drawing attention to views of the environment that are often overlooked, she highlights the marginal spaces of the urban landscape and transforms them through her consideration of light and color. Susan Maakestad: The Expansive Moment will feature variations on this theme in brilliant watercolor.

Though land and water are difficult to distinguish, a consistent horizon line runs throughout Maakestad’s vivid watercolors and subtly delineates earth and sky to orient viewers. This experimental approach to landscape painting places Maakestad in dialogue with artists of the past, including the British painter John Constable, whom she cites as an influence and whose cloud studies similarly stretched the boundaries of landscape painting, pushing an exploration of weather and atmosphere towards its abstract potential.