Art Faculty Susan York’s Graphite Sculptures and Drawings Shown Alongside Work of Georgia O’Keeffe

Date published

SFUAD Studio Arts faculty Susan York’s cast graphite sculpture and large minimalist drawings are currently featured at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. In “Carbon,” York’s work is installed throughout galleries devoted to O’Keeffe’s work. The installation will be featured and celebrated during the museum’s First Friday, with live music and drawing in the galleries from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5.

York, a Santa Fe-based artist, works primarily in graphite. She is best known for her cast graphite sculpture and large-scale graphite drawings of asymmetrical forms on paper. Her sculptures feature a highly finished surface requiring days of polishing. In both the drawings and sculptures, the work explores and blurs the distinctions between two- and three-dimensional artwork while drawing attention back to the most basic act of art practice—drawing.

“Graphite was known as a preparatory material until the modernists of the twentieth century began presenting graphite drawings as finished works of art,” says Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Curator Carolyn Kastner. The Museum’s presentation of contemporary artists such as Susan York explores the continuity of modernist influence in the twenty-first century.

As a high school student in New Mexico, York wrote Georgia O’Keeffe a letter and O’Keeffe sent her a response. “There were very few women artists at that time,” says York, “and in New Mexico we were lucky to have Georgia O’Keeffe as a living artist and example. O’Keeffe was a woman who was able to follow her vision in a big way: both as a modernist and linking the New Mexican landscape to her work.”

York is represented locally by James Kelly Contemporary and shows throughout the United States and Europe, but this is York’s first time exhibiting at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. She says she welcomes the opportunity to place her work in conversation with O’Keeffe’s.

“One thing we share is a distillation of form, that is our common ground,” says York.

“Carbon” is installed within a new series of galleries devoted to significant periods in Georgia O’Keeffe’s life and work, as well as her artistic legacy and influence.

About Susan York:

Susan York is a contemporary American artist and minimalist sculptor. She received her BFA from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Now based in Santa Fe, NM, York channels the vast expanse surrounding her, into post-Minimalist sculptures and drawings. At Santa Fe University of Art and Design, she directs the Sculpture program and teaches courses in professional practices and installation, among others. York’s site-specific installations and drawings are in the permanent collection of the Stedelijk Museum in The Netherlands and the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe. For more information about the artist, please visit

About the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum:

To inspire all current and future generations, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum preserves, presents and advances the artistic legacy of Georgia O’Keeffe and modernism through innovative public engagement, education, and research. Opened in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1997, the Museum counts O’Keeffe’s two New Mexico homes as part of its extended collection. The Museum’s collections, exhibitions, research center, publications and educational programs contribute to scholarly discourse and serve a diverse audience. For more information, please visit


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