Susan Grabel


Venus Comes of Age

Susan Grabel’s solo exhibition at Ceres Gallery, NYC, April 30—May 25, 2013 exploring the reality of aging women’s bodies in handmade cast paper and collagraph prints. Through repetition of form, humor and classical references, she challenges the conventional biases about the aging female body and validates women’s experiences of themselves.


Constructions of Conscience:
The Social Art of Susan Grabel

A walk through of Susan Grabel’s retrospective exhibition January 29—May 28, 2012 at the Staten Island Museum with discussions of her work by Elizabeth Egbert, Director and CEO of the Staten Island Museum and Robert Bunkin, Art Curator at the Staten Island Museum.


A Place at the Table

A celebration on May 19, 2007 of the opening of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, organized by Susan Grabel, honoring Elizabeth A Sackler, the Brooklyn Museum and Maura Reilly, curator, for breaking down another barrier to the full appreciation of the contribution of Feminism, Feminist Art and all women artists to our culture.

selected reviews and articles

Michael Fressola, Staten Island’s Susan Grabel ‘Comes of Age’ at Ceres Gallery in Chelsea, Staten Island Advance, May 12, 2013

“The Venuses, all modeled directly from real women, form a big-bellied and sturdy sort of sisterhood, timeless but aged and marked by gravity and work . . . . The project has an impeccable socio-political agenda that’s hard to argue with. The artist believes that there is beauty in the hard facts of humanity, age, time, gravity and avoirdupois. It’s a radical stance in an era when even people who are very, very old avail themselves of plastic surgery.”

Michael Fressola, How Many Wrongs Make A Right?, Staten Island Advance, March 18, 2012

“By art-world standards, longtime West Brighton-based sculptor Susan Grabel has been doing everything wrong for years now. But it has served her pretty well, as her Staten Island Museum retrospective Constructions of Conscience indicates.”

Christina Curcuru, Seeing is Believing, Industry Magazine, January/Febrary 2012

“For more than 40 years, artist Susan Grabel has exhibited her signature figurative sculptures, work that represents the human dimensions of thought-provoking social, cultural, and political issues she feels important enough to shed light on in an artistic way.”

Robert Sievert, Constructions of Conscience: The Social Art of Susan Grabel,, February 29, 2012

“Her work has always had a deeply human component that shows a concern and feeling for the human condition. She aligns herself with the humanistic tradition of artists. Her admiration for Kathe Kollwitz, Honore Daumier, Rembrandt is clearly felt. She is a social critic as well as a witness to life’s injustices.”

Michael Fressola, Body Work at Vlepo, Art Lab, Staten Island Advance, June 18, 2004

“As her Earth Venus show at the Art Lab demonstrates, her torso template remains evocative and powerful no matter what changes it undergoes.”

Michael Fressola, Works of Clay, Staten Island Advance, September 3, 1995, p E1

“Ms. Grabel’s art inspires compassion and action. Its socially conscious work and the heads. . . are detailed and absorbing likenesses; each face speaks a volume of history and emotion and the box represents refuge or imprisonment depending.”

Vivien Raynor, Color Relationships in Valhalla, Family Ties in Krasdale, The New York Times, November 7, 1993, p WC28

“The show includes not only well-known families. . . but also goes out to second and third generations and even searched out in-laws. In fact one of the best teams is Herman Rose, . . . and his daughter-in-law, Susan Grabel, whose clay head, Emma, peeks out from between the slats of a crate.”

Michael Fressola, Sculpture with a cause, Staten Island Advance, October 23, 1990, p B14

“We don’t need Susan Grabel to tell us about the homeless. . . But as a sculptor, Ms. Grabel can do something unique. She can dramatize the all too familiar bag-person scenario, freeze it in time and transform it into an object that is beautiful and dismaying simultaneously.”

William Zimmer, Mansion and Former Factory Offer Varied Views of Women, The New York Times, March 18, 1990

“Homelessness would seem to be a ripe new topic, but how does one skirt clichés? Susan Grabel succeeds by meeting the cliché head on in a tour de force. In her Address Unknown, a large ceramic piece, a woman is seated on a bench amidst bundles of her belongings. The large tableau entailed so much care that it amounts to a meditation on the subject that might be salutary.”

Grace Glueck, Art: Sculptured Figures of 70’s at Pratt Gallery, The New York Times, November 7, 1980, p C19

“The new sculptural tendency toward ‘narrative’ is exemplified by. . . . Susan Grabel’s small City Environment No 1, a glazed ceramic piece that deploys figural groups in a series of cleverly linked room settings.”