Concrete Contemporary Auctions and Projects Contemporary Art Auction

April 13, 2015

LOT 46

Lot 46


Lot 46 Details


mixed media on canvas
signed, titled and dated 2002 on the stretcher
14 ins x 21 ins; 35.6 cms x 53.3 cms

Estimate $4,000-$6,000

Realised: $5,040
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images

Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto


Milroy, Sarah. Susanna Heller: Catastrophe as Muse. Accessed 27 February, 2015.
Susanna Heller. Online video clip. Vimeo. Vimeo, Feb, 2013. Accessed 24 February, 2014.


“It took me a good ten years to figure out how to engage the city, how to draw it, how to paint it, how to picture it…it wasn’t exactly about its look, it’s more about its being.”

Susanna Heller’s unique relationship with New York City is expressed through her dense and dynamic paintings of buildings, monuments and aerial views of the city and its boroughs. She views New York as an animated character and is compelled to capture, in pencil and paint, its vibrancy, space, and above all, its movement. As an artist in residence in Tower I of the World Trade Center just two years before its destruction in 2001, Heller reacted to the devastation through her artwork, becoming “…the most authoritative artistic chronicler of the 9/11 disaster, walking from her Williamsburg apartment over the bridge to Manhattan almost every day for four months to document the ruins, producing smouldering charcoals and paintings that bore witness to chaos in tortured, incredulous, and sometimes exultant strokes, dabs and jabs.”

Heller’s paintings of New York after September 11 radiate a chaotic energy as seen in Black Cloud Reaches Brooklyn (2002). A bird’s-eye view depicts a black, billowing cloud traversing New York City towards Brooklyn. Thick black lines, daubs of red pigment and fragments of torn paper and canvas, perhaps symbolizing the jettisoned building materials from Ground Zero, accentuate the gravity of the subject matter. To balance the sense of upheaval, Heller included a blue meandering horizontal line (likely the East River) and a solitary green space in the foreground providing respite for the viewer from an otherwise tumultuous landscape.

Susanna Heller has an extensive exhibition history in North America and beyond and is a recipient of numerous awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council as well as the National Endowment for the Arts. Her works are included in major collections such as The Air Canada Corporation (Montréal), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the Canada Council Art Bank (Ottawa) and the Toronto Dominion Bank as well as in many private collections around the world. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 46

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.