Sue Havens

Region: South


City / State: Tampa, FL

When I lived in New York, I made paintings that took the form of shaped sculptural paintings and paper constructions and had to do with geometry, flatness, and dimensionality. When I accepted an R1 Research University position at the University of South Florida in 2015, I unexpectedly began working with clay. My new work is a direct extension of the previous paintings and paper constructions, and embodies my journey from New York to Florida and to Turkey, where my husband is from. I think of these ceramic works as shaped paintings.

At the same time, I have been working on a series of larger collage-based paintings that use the grid as an integrating strategy. In these works, I translate everyday objects and disparate subject matter, from old commercial packaging, tree bark, the dotted grid on a bench in my son’s playground, space-dyed knit sweaters from the ’70s, and Tampa stucco architecture to hand-painted auto body shop signs.

My work shifts restlessly between mediums, transmitting a complicated dialogue between painting, sculpture, and ceramics.