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Susan Chen

Tussie Mussie Luckiest Red, 2023

acrylic on wood panel

16 x 12 in 

$7,000 + 8.875% Sales Tax + 3% Credit Card Fee

Susan Chen "Tussie Mussie Luckiest Red "

  • Susan Chen is an artist and oil painter currently living and working in New York City. In recent years, her work has centered on community portraiture and conceptual still lifes. She received her MFA from Columbia University in 2020 and her BA Hons from Brown University in 2015. Chen is a 2022 Forbes Under 30 North America Honoree, 2022 Artsy Vanguard Artist, and 2020 Hopper Prize Winner. She has an upcoming solo exhibition at Rachel Uffner Gallery in March 2024. 


    About the work: 


    Living next to the flower district in New York City, artist Susan Chen couldn’t help but be influenced by the understated beauty she’d walk by on a regular basis. Because these shops need to clear out unsold inventory at the end of each day, Chen would often find herself returning home with a small bouquet.


    As such, these flowers found their way to center focus while the artist continued her exploration of impasto, color, form, and gesture. Greatly inspired by Howard Hodgkin’s paintings, these floral pieces served as the perfect subject in focusing purely on paint and color.


    Chen’s thoughts revolved around the tussie mussie: a small, handheld bouquet of flowers traditionally purposed for a romantic or sentimental gift. Reaching back to an era where much emotion and sentiment was expressed via means of flora – the ‘language of flowers’ – the tussie mussie became a beloved muse of the Victorian era. Each particular flower within the arrangement carried with it a special symbolic meaning, providing the giver power to convey a lot with just a little. This inherent ability of the tussie mussie resonated with the artist as she sought to do just the same with simple color and form.


    While these small, gifted bouquets used to be carried close to the nose in thought that this would ward off the plague within the surrounding air, Chen remains interested in the concept of the tussie mussie as a token of thought and healing within our current post-pandemic era.



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