Artist CV

Susan Knaap is a New Zealand artist whose artistic career has spanned over two decades. During that time her art has traversed a number of styles, from figurative right through to abstraction. It is the latter which she now focuses on and through which she experiences the greatest amount of creative freedom.

The process of becoming an artist has taught me how important it is to create work that reflects who I am so that I can move beyond mere craftsmanship and share something of myself in what I do. I find that abstraction – where I am able to focus purely on colour, shapes and mark-making – allows me to do that more readily.

I’m sometimes asked what my paintings allude to; what they mean. Previously, I would have said they reflected my interest in concepts such as concealment and revelation, order and chaos, etc. However, over time, this preoccupation with providing a conceptual structure to my work has fallen away. These days, I’m more interested in the paint itself, the colours I use, and the marks I am making, all without the need to label it.

I am inspired by a number of artists and art movements but, of all of them, Monet has remained the most influential. His late work, where traditional perspective gives way to abstract fields of colour and texture, moves me deeply. More recently, I’ve developed an appreciation for the work of Joan Mitchell, herself an ardent admirer of Monet. The riotous explosions of colour and vigorous mark making within her paintings inspire me not only to take more risks with my own work, but to inject more of my physicality into the painting process.

Susan’s paintings are lush, multi-layered works rendered in a variety of media. Her approach is intuitive, where the process of painting itself dictates the painting’s direction. After a several year hiatus, Susan’s latest artwork is notable for its brighter colour palette, as well as its exuberant, gestural mark making.

Painting Awards

2012
Cliftons Art Prize, Wellington section (Finalist)
Artavita’s 2nd Contemporary Masters Contest (Honourable Mention)

2006
Wheeler Campbell Art Award, Wellington (Finalist)

2004
International Juried Symbolist Online Art Show (Finalist)

Media & Publications

2017
‘New Zealand: Kiwi Consciousness. Contemporary Artists from New Zealand’
by Imago Mundi: Luciano Benetton Collection. Featured pages 222-223

2012
‘Art by Susan Knaap’ YouTube video produced by Susan Knaap

2009
‘Going Solo’ YouTube video produced by The Learning Connexion

2008
‘GO! The Art of Change’ by Jonathan Milne. Featured pages 490-495

2006
‘Levin art adventurer turns full circle’, Horowhenua Chronicle

2007
‘Going Solo 24′, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington
Solace Art Gallery, Lower Hutt

2005
Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea (exhibition catalogue)
Appearance on ‘Breakfast’ TV show, 8 Nov re Florence Biennale
Appearance on ‘Tonight’ TV show, 8 Nov re Florence Biennale
Appearance on ‘Good Morning’ TV show, 15 Nov re Florence Biennale
‘Artist off to Florence’, Hutt News, 8 Nov
‘Valley resident sole Kiwi artist attending Florence Biennale’, Stokes Valley Times
‘Local artist invited to 2005 Florence Biennale’, The Wellingtonian, 18 Nov

2004
‘NZ Artist Finalist in International Art Show’, State of the Arts, 22 Apr

2003
‘From Fairgrounds to Cyberspace’, Article TLC Newsletter

2001
Painting chosen for TLC Graduation invitation flyer

Exhibitions

2012
Clifton’s Art Prize exhibition, Wellington (Finalist)
TLC Tutor Exhibition, Expressions Gallery, Upper Hutt

2011
TLC Tutor Exhibition, The Learning Connexion, Wellington
‘Art in the Park’, Levin

2010
Graduation exhibition, The Learning Connexion, Wellington

2009
‘Going Solo 28′, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington

2007
‘Going Solo 24′, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington
Solace Art Gallery, Lower Hutt

2006
‘Exploring Horizons’, Tamarillo Gallery, Wellington
Affordable Art Show, Wellington
The Original Art Show, Auckland
Wheeler Campbell Art Award (Finalist)
‘The Art of Simplicity’, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington
‘The Big Look See’, Shed 11, Wellington
‘Celebration of Art’, Auckland
‘Small Works Exhibition’, River East Gallery, Greytown

2005
2005 Florence Biennale, Florence, Italy
‘Evidence’, TLC Staff & Tutors’ show, Turnbull House, Wellington
Life Education Trust Auction, Taupo
FINC Café, Wellington
Bayley’s Real Estate Art Auction (on behalf of The Royal NZ Foundation for the Blind), Wellington
‘Woman’s Work’, Montana Winery, Gisborne
Affordable Art Show, Wellington
The Original Art Show, Auckland
Going Solo 20, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington
‘Summer Exhibition’, ‘Winter Exhibition’, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington

2004
International Juried Online Symbolist Art Show
“NZ Artist Finalist In International Art Show”
‘Proximity’, ROAR! Gallery, Wellington
‘Woman’s Work’, Montana Winery, Gisborne
‘Small Works’, ‘Wonderful Winter Exhibition’,
‘Autumn Exhibition’, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington
‘Affordable Arts Show’, Wellington
Royal Easter Show Art Awards Exhibition, Auckland
‘Ritual’, Staff & Tutors’ Show,
The Learning Connexion, Wellington
Art of New Zealand Trust Fundraising Exhibition, Napier
The Learning Connexion Student Shows, Wellington

2003
‘Inside/Out’ Staff & Tutors’ Exhibition,
The Learning Connexion, Wellington
‘Summer Exhibition’, ‘Autumn Exhibition’,
‘Absolutely Brilliant Exhibition’, ‘Small Works Exhibition’, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington
The Learning Connexion Student Shows, Wellington

2002
Art to the Power of 11: St James Theatre, Wellington
‘Emphasis on Small’, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington
‘The Great Artdoors’ Exhibition, Wellington
Bon Mange Café, Wellington
‘Exposed’ Staff &; Tutors’ Exhibition,
St James Westpac Theatre, Wellington
Bizartisanz Art Fair, Martinborough
Si Salon, Wellington
The Learning Connexion Student Shows, Wellington

2001
Inland Revenue Department, Wellington
The Verandah Café, Eastbourne
The Learning Connexion Student Shows, Wellington