Susanne S. D. Themlitz

Lisboa, 1968
Lives and works in Cologne

The artist combines sculpture, installation, painting, drawing and video to create a personal language, a unique set of images and a personal microcosm. She explores the sensorial plasticity of raw materials as varied as clay, wood, bronze, fibreglass, cement, clothes, shoes, funnels, aluminium tubes and plastic buckets, paying particular attention to textures, surfaces, cracks and colours to deeply engage the senses.

These materials are used to stage organic landscapes, precarious habitats or unusual figurations that highlight the ambiguity of the relationships between the natural, the human and the animal, and that evoke the emotional experience of dream and childhood narratives, flowing freely between the real, the imagined and the symbolic.

Her works propose alternative realities, geographies and atmospheres, each deeply inventive and subjective. Their settings, inhabitants and constituent elements seem vaguely recognisable, connecting to a primordial or subconscious state.

Belonging to a species foreshadowed in mythology, literature and bedtime stories, hybrid, mutant, legendary, disquieting, fantastic, grotesque, metamorphic, tragic and scornful creatures feed the identitarian questioning of the work as the artist’s alter ego or as the representation of a surrealist, complex, and enigmatic humanity.

Lígia Afonso
[Plano Nacional das Artes and Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian]
Curator, teacher and researcher born in Lisbon in 1981
Text originally written for Google Arts & Culture apropos the exhibition “All I Want, Portuguese Women Artists from 1900 to 2020”, curated by Helena de Freitas and Bruno Marchand