'Rubber Tree' by Sara Suppan

Sara Suppan (b. 1994) is an American painter working in Minneapolis. In 2023 Suppan presented with Moosey at the CAN Art Fair in Ibiza, and soon after joined the gallery for their residency program in Norwich. She has most recently exhibited with Hashimoto Contemporary (Los Angeles), Huxley-Parlour (London), Galerie Bessaud (Paris), Kutlesa (Goldau, Switzerland), and Micki Meng (San Francisco).

Her paintings have been published in New American Paintings magazine (No. 155 and No. 173), and she has been awarded grant funding for her work from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (2023), and from the Minnesota State Arts Board (2017, 2021). Previous solo shows include Sweet Potato at Micki Meng (San Francisco) and You and I Do Not Form a Number at Yeah Maybe (Minneapolis). Suppan holds a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (U.S). This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with Moosey.

Suppan’s paintings are light and strange and sweet. She loves ordinary objects, drawings within paintings, and when goofiness undercuts beauty. For her debut show with the gallery, the artist brings these qualities to the boundary between inside and outside, home and environment.

As suggested by “Rubber Tree”, Suppan’s newest paintings play with mimicry between nature and human infrastructure. In Garden Snake, a serpent camouflages amongst a garden hose in the grass. For other works, butterfly socks flap on a clothesline, a dandelion bends under an arc of plastic fencing, and ants cross a marble floor. The natural and built worlds merge and slip as one thing becomes another. A couple of the paintings feature houseplants; an old Chia Pet painted at large scale turns into Wildcat, with fanning chia vines evocative of a jungle. In another, a string of star-shaped beads wraps around a potted cactus as in a nocturnal landscape, becoming The Desert at Night. The recurrence of white walls, blue sky, butterflies, and snakes situate these moments within the same world, and indeed, the shiny face of our Chia Pet cat reflects the flame-decorated pants in its adjacent painting, Rising Run.

Rubber Tree is a project of enchantment. Each image treats the humblest thing as wonderful in the original sense; as beautiful and mysterious and fun, and deserving new consideration.

Opens Thursday 18th July 6-8pm at Moosey Art, Labour In Vain Yard, Norwich, NR2 1JD