Susannah Martin JUST NATURE

March 17 to July 14, 2019

Art is never chaste. (Pablo Picasso)

The exhibition JUST NATURE in the spring of 2019 will deal with concepts of freedom that are reflected in the relationship between man and nature. Which images of nature are prevalent in contemporary culture and how is the human body represented in the landscape? The exhibition JUST NATURE in the Kunstforum of the TU Darmstadt compares the predominantly digital life with the question of the relationship between man and nature and enquires into possible social utopias beyond the Internet and the virtual world.

In our exhibition LOST IN TRANSITION – From Fugitive, Ephemeral (September 24 to December 10, 2017) , the American artist William Lamson´s video work “In the roaring garden” discusses the thoughts of the transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862). Thoreau described the question of the possibility of a simple life in nature, a remarkably current theme, in his 1854 published book “Walden-Or Life in the Woods”. These suggestions are taken up in JUST NATURE.

The exhibition, curated by Julia Reichelt, focuses on the work of the American artist Susannah Martin (*1964, New York). Her paintings, which are dedicated to the classic theme of “the Nude in Landscape”, are not only surprising due to complex allusions. Known motifs can be found in it as well as certain periods of art history, such as the painting “Déjeuner sur l´Herbe” (The breakfast in the open) by Éduard Manet (1863) or the period of the “Lebensreform” movement around 1900.

Susannah Martin finds a completely unique pictorial language to represent the relationship of the nude in nature. For her, the exposed human being, devoid of any social indicators, is a symbol of the human being par excellence. In its relation to nature, the antagonistic gap between the natural and the natural state and the human being as a consumer or cultural being is reflected: "I am interested in exploring the nature of our enslavement to our own cultural creations and our psychic battle for liberation from these addictions.” (Susannah Martin)

  • 1964 Born in New York City, U.S.A.
  • 1982 – 1986 Studied at New York University, N.Y. U.S.A.
    Bachelor of Science, Major in Painting
    Recipient SEHNAP Scholarship Award
    Studied under among others: John Kacere, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Peter Campus
  • 1986 – 1990 Employment at Sandro La Ferla Backdrops, Inc., New York City, U.S.A. (Set and Mural Painting)
  • 1990 – 1991 Self-employment as set and mural painter, New York City, U.S.A.
  • 1991 Moved to Germany, Berlin
  • 1991 – 1993 Self-employment as set and mural painter, Berlin
  • since 1994 Self-employment as set and mural painter, Frankfurt am Main
  • since 2004 Return to independent work and portraiture


  • 2019 Jonathan Levine Projects, „Susannah Martin – Primordial Tourists“, New Jersey, USA
  • 2015 Galerie Stoerpunkt, “Susannah Martin – Salon Dogs” Munich, Germany
  • 2013 Galerie Kunst am Kettwiger Tor, Essen, Germany, “Susannah Martin
  • 2012 Galerie Stephan Stumpf, ”Primordial Tourists – Susannah Martin", München, Germany

Gruppenausstellungen (Auswahl)

  • 2018 Jonathan LeVine Projects, “Delusional” New Jersey, USA
  • 2018 Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, „Painting the Figure Now”, WI, USA
  • 2017 Stockholm Independent Art Fair, Kunstverein Montez, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2016 Marburger Kunsthalle, “Lichtenberg Re-loaded”, Marburg, Germany
  • 2013 Künstlerverein Walkmühle, “Die Leinwand des Leibes – Körperkult als neue Sozial Plastik”, Wiesbaden, Germany
  • 2012 Galerie Stephan Stumpf, München, Germany “Figurative Malerei”
  • 2011 The Monmouth Museum, New Jersey, USA “32nd Annual Exhibition”
  • 2009 Künstlerverein Walkmühle, Wiesbaden, Deutschland “in between – die Kunst, erwachsen zu werden”
  • 1989 The Hoyt National Drawing and Painting Show The Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
  • 1984 Small Works, Juried CompetitionWashington Square Galleries, New York, N.Y., U.S.A.


  • 2012 Finalist in the AW Artists Wanted, Year in Review 2011 International Competition
  • 2011 The Monmouth Museum, “32nd Annual Juried Exhibition”, 1st Place Juror Award, New Jersey, USA
  • 2009 Artistwindow, Kunstwettbewerb “Faces”, 1. Preis Gewinnerin

Sa., 2019/03/16, 6 p.m.

Opening in the presence of the artist Susannah Martin at the exhibition hall of the Kunstforum of the TU Darmstadt at Altes Hauptgebäude, Hochschulstraße 1, 2. OG. Welcoming by Dr. Manfred Efinger (Chancellor of TU Darmstadt), Meike Heinigk (Initiator of the FESTIVAL Liebe@Darmstadt), Julia Reichelt, M.A. (Head of the Kunstforum of the TU Darmstadt).

Th., 2019/03/21, 6 p.m.

Public guided tour through the exhibition in the Kunstforum of the TU Darmstadt, also an introduction for interested teachers of all school types.

Su., 2019/04/28, 5 p.m.

Public guided tour through the exhibition in the Kunstforum of the TU Darmstadt.

We., 2019/05/22, 8 p.m.

Reading “Cheating: Margarete Stokowski – The Downfall of the Patriarchate” at Wilhelm-Köhler-Saal of the TU Darmstadt (next to the Kunstforum of the TU Darmstadt). Moderation: Lisa Hille. Free entry. Entrance 7:30 pm. In cooperation with the festival Sex@The City.

Th., 2019/05/23, 6 p.m.

Susannah Martin in conversation with Julia Reichelt.

Su., 2019/05/26, 5 p.m.

Lecture “Lebensreform heute?!” by Prof. Kai Buchholz, h_da Darmstadt. Followed by a short tour and apéritif.

Fr., 2019/06/14, 6 p.m.

Public guided tour through the exhibition in the Kunstforum of the TU Darmstadt.

Su., 2019/07/14, 5 p.m.

Finissage and last public guided tour through the exhibition in the Kunstforum of the TU Darmstadt. The artist Susannah Martin and Julia Reichelt lead through the exhibition together. Followed by an apéritif.