The Richness of the Domestic Realm by Becky Suss

Libraries, carpets, dining areas, childhood bedrooms, home offices in all their details of colour, shape and texture—Philadelphia-based artist Becky Suss (born 1980) celebrates the domestic realm liberally, showing us the universe that it really is in itself, holding families day in and day out, keeping them safe and protected. It expands to include pets, and the remains of departed loved ones. The home is a place of rest and refuge, also an canvas of creativity, conveying discipline and ambition.

Suss’s large-scale paintings of interiors are holistic representations of the sensory and remembered qualities of space, while her small paintings of objects and books become a library of charged personal items. Devoid of figures, Suss’ style uses flattened architecture, exaggerated proportions, and distorted perspective to amplify the tension between the factual and the fictitious, mirroring the plasticity of memory, continually reformed and revised. What resonates is how a dwelling, despite its rigid physical structure, can adapt, welcoming the day-to-day histories, eccentricities, and impressions of the people who move between its walls.

Mic (Lighthouse with Solar System) © Becky Suss.

Suss’ work often questions the stereotypes of domesticity especially as they relate to the lives of women in America. She is fascinated by American culture’s dismissal and dependence on homemaking and homemakers, and inspired by her own personal heritage, the generations of women in her family who managed the domestic sphere without recognition. She aspires to elevate these historically female private spaces that have long been dismissed as unimportant, though in reality are places where family and identity are created and defined. She often draws inspiration from memories of her own grandparents’ home and, after becoming a parent herself, she has found inspiration through returning to the literature of her childhood and the memories of these imagined narratives.

Becky Suss holds a BA from Williams College and an MFA from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a former member of Vox Populi and Space 1026 in Philadelphia. Recent exhibition venues include the ICA Philadelphia, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery (Philadelphia, PA), and The Berman Museum (Collegeville, PA).  She is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery and Fleisher/Ollman Gallery.

Links: Website (

8 Greenwood Place (1988-93) © Becky Suss.
Red Apartment © Becky Suss.
August © Becky Suss.
Home Office © Becky Suss.
Bedroom with Peacock Feathers © Becky Suss.
Foyer (Helen’s Quilt) © Becky Suss.
In Memoriam (for Emily) © Becky Suss.
Drop Leaf Desk (Wharton Esherick) © Becky Suss.
Henrik’s House (Great Aunt Birte’s Funeral) © Becky Suss.
8 Greenwood Place (my bedroom) © Becky Suss.
8 Greenwood Place (1995-1996) © Becky Suss.