Project Description

Suzan Woodruff, Properties of Heat III, 2016, Acrylic on Acrylic Panel, 24 x 22 Inches 

Nancy Toomey Fine Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by Suzan Woodruff entitled Space Rain on view from February 1 to March 11, 2017. The gallery is located inside San Francisco’s newest art complex Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota Street.

Does it rain in space? According to Emily Beach in the journal Sciencing, while you won’t find Earth-like rain in space, many celestial bodies experience their own kinds of storms, with rain in the form of liquid methane, sulfuric acid or even diamonds. Beyond the unusual rain found on other planets, space itself offers its own weather patterns thanks to solar disturbances that can trigger effects that affect life here on Earth.


Suzan Woodruff, Space Rain II, 2017, Acrylic on Acrylic Panel, 24 x 22 Inches

Los Angeles based artist Suzan Woodruff paints with a method of controlled chaos that creates works that depict natural occurrences, from the molecular to interstellar phenomena. While on an Indian residency many years ago, Woodruff began developing her signature style, what Hungarian mathematics professor Zoltan Subaida defined as “natural fractal pour paintings.” Using gravity, pigment, viscosity and evaporation, she re-creates nature and subliminal feminist iconography within her ethereal acrylic color explorations. The work draws from inspirations as diverse as the Hudson School to Abstract Expressionism, always influenced by the shifting color and atmosphere of the California sea and sky.

The iridescent shimmering surfaces are a result of her studio practice; a rigorous physical process involving constant motion that keeps her open to the “visitations and apparitions” that inform the end result. The work can resemble patterns of the earth as seen from space, or the smallest cosmic eruption at the cellular level. The paintings are grounded in the physics of the planet, yet retain an otherworldly abstraction derived from the sumptuous application of color and form. 


Suzan Woodruff, Echo Maker, 2015, Acrylic on Panel, 48 x 60 Inches

Woodruff says, “In a system developed over two decades, my process incorporates observation (nature), study (physics) and practice (meditation) into a dynamic creative system of ‘controlled chaos’ that generates pattern formation. I combine properties of topological mixing (pigment and viscosity of media), water, gravity, erosion, wind, and period orbits to recreate natural phenomena with fractal features on gessoed panel. These ‘strange attractors’ are paint waves and disturbances that, through the energy created by the movement of my easel, oscillate along the panel surface creating the characteristics of a pattern created by a body of water, and the nacreous powders create the illusion of emergent structures in nature.”

 Suzan Woodruff, Glazier, 2016, Acrylic on Acrylic Panel, 48 Inches

“Another influence on my work is light as a refractive and fracturing tool appropriated from the ideas of kintsukuroi, ‘The piece is more beautiful for having been broken.’ With my new pieces, I have combined my methods of painting using the Gravity Easel and casting the flat pieces, and framing them on a transparent acrylic box. With the sculptural cast atmospheric globes, I am furthering my desire to delve more deeply into the various Properties of Light in art. As always I am inspired by the words of Leonard Cohen ‘There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.'”


Suzan Woodruff, Artist Portrait by Eric Minh Swenson

Suzan Woodruff is a recipient of numerous awards and residencies, and her art is included in many private and public collections around the world. Her work has been reviewed and featured in Art Ltd, Budapest Sun, Times of India, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, and various other print and new media publications.