About Susan Hensel

Hensel’s artwork is known and collected nationwide, represented in collecting libraries and museums as disparate as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and The Getty Research Institute. There are major holdings at Minnesota Center for Book Arts, University of Washington, Baylor University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Archives pertaining to her artist’s books are available for study at the University of Washington Libraries in Seattle.

Hensel’s artwork is known and collected nationwide, represented in collecting libraries and museums as disparate as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and The Getty Research Institute. There are major holdings at Minnesota Center for Book Arts, University of Washington, Baylor University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Archives pertaining to her artist’s books are available for study at the University of Washington Libraries in Seattle.

Susan Hensel Gallery functions on the three interrelated principles of
Art, Story, & Activism

Mission

The focus of Susan Hensel Gallery is on compelling objects, meaningful use of materials, and engaging sculpture. It is a gallery where experimental ideas and works of the hand join to create unique sensory experiences. Opened September 10th, 2004 Susan Hensel Gallery is a gallery/ workspace presenting 5-6 shows per year in an intimate space, with hardwood floors and high tin ceilings. In 2013 the interior space reverted to a working studio for Susan Hensel where she continues to work on small and largescale artwork that engages both sculptural and cultural space. You can find her current work at www.SusanHenselProjects.com. The Susan Hensel Gallery is now both a large window gallery on Cedar Avenue, a main thoroughfare in south Minneapolis, and an online venture represented on Artsy.net.

Artist Statement

I am a multidisciplinary artist, with a 50+ year career, who combines a mixed media practice with embroidery across digital and manual platforms. Additionally, I make sculpture and wall art using the colors and techniques of commercial embroidery, designed on the computer and stitched out on the computer-aided embroidery machine with the aim to create an experience for the viewer that overwhelms with color, transcends the quotidian and encourages one, for even a few seconds, to step outside the narrative of the ego into a place of pure sensation.

Digital machine embroidery is not a substitute for, nor a speedier version of, nor an imitator of handwork. It is a mindset and a media choice in and of itself. As an artist, I find the beauty and the structure of embroidery thread qualitatively unique. It also deals in optical color perception but provides a lenticular opportunity due to the tri-lobal structure of the thread and its ability to bend light. Likewise, to quote Jane McKeating, “Color drips off the needle every bit as richly as from a brush.”

Digital embroidery lends itself to hard-edge geometry as well as biomorphic form. The combination of high tech with “women’s work” also provides a delicious contrast of hard/s