Tamanrasset is an installation of large-scale abstract paintings and light inspired by the Coachella Valley landscape. Due to travel restrictions, Vivian Suter was unable to conduct a site visit to the desert and instead explored the ways the region exists in pictures. Using colors to create moods, shapes to reference natural formations and landmarks, and exposing the canvases to the elements to generate textures, her paintings speak to the embodied and emotional dimensions of the desert landscape — to the ways deserts provoke personal associations and trigger memories that are not always resolved. Situated inside a modernist building, Suter’s installation reminds us that the desert is not only a place but also a condition that shapes the lives of many peoples around the world.
Vivian Suter’s (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1949) paintings are extensions of the environments in which they come into being. Working with untreated canvases, she uses paint and organic materials from the surroundings of her studio in Panajachel, Guatemala, to create abstract compositions that index place, time, and feelings. Informed by the landscape but not aiming to represent it, Suter’s work straddles multiple histories of painting.