“My first serious work of visual art, made when I was 20, was actually a musical score for a piece by early 20th century composer and electronic music pioneer  Edgar Varese. I invented a new notation of shapes and colors to represent the new sounds of Varese’s music. Though trained as a classical music performer and musicologist, I found that I really wanted to make things, expressive things, non-narrative things, “concrete” things which could use the model of musical language as a way of embracing the poetry of light and space. I was excited to see that the thing people called “abstract painting”  could be as rich and complex and intimate as western music has been for many centuries, that ” abstract painting” was on a developmental trajectory, that it was just beginning to embody its potential. I switched from music school to art school, and entered the Visual Arts program at Cal Arts with an aesthetic inclination which was rare at that school, especially in the early 1980s. It was perfect for me. ”

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Sue Carlson, born in Minneapolis, MN in 1956, currently lives and works in New York City. After earning a BA in music from Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Institute of Music in 1979, and an MFA from Cal-Arts in 1982, Sue moved to New York City and worked as an assistant in the studios of Elizabeth Murray and Lucio Pozzi . Her works have been exhibited in New York at Rose Burlingham Fine Art, Gerber-Seid Fine Art, Van Brunt Gallery, Lindsey Brown Gallery, Artist’s Space and White Columns, as well as in galleries in San Francisco, San Antonio,  Baltimore, and in Bologna and Sardinia in Italy.


2016 “The Drama of Nordic Light”, (solo show), Svenska Kyrkan, New York, NY

2014 ILLE ARTS, Amagansett, Long Island, New York

2010 “Longing for Falkoping”, (solo show), Svenska Kyrkan, New York, NY exhibition essay by Jennifer Riley

2009 “Still, Quiet, on the Wall”, (solo show), Rose Burlingham Fine Art, New York, NY

2009 “Water Carefully”, Galleria Neon, Bologna, Italy

2008 “I’m Asking For The Sky” Sardegna Arte Fiera, Sardinia, Italy

2007 “Dutch Barn Show”, Rose Burlingham Fine Art, New York, NY

2006 Bailey House Auction, New York, NY and Southhampton, NY

2005 ArtMANGO Gallery, San Antonio, Texas

2004 “Seid Show”, Gerber-Seid Fine Arts, New York, NY

2004 “Band of Abstraction”, Van Brunt Gallery, New York, NY

2004 The Bill Clinton Show, Locus Media, New York, NY

2003 “Landscape at Wave Hill”, Lindsey Brown Gallery, New York, NY

2002 “Sue Carlson: Double Horizon” (solo show), Lindsey Brown Gallery, New York, NY catalog essay by Joe Fyfe

2001 “Sue Carlson: Fykerud Series” (solo show), NeoImages, New York, NY

2000 “Substance”, NeoImages Gallery, New York, NY

1999 “Sue Carlson: Healing Spaces” (solo show), Arthur Ashe Institute, Brooklyn, NY

1999 “Size Matters”, Gale Gates et al, Mike Weiss, curator, Brooklyn, NY

1997-t.d. Flat File, Pierogi Gallery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

1996 “My Friends in My Apartment”, Barbara Pollack, curator, New York, NY

1994 Artists Space, New York, NY

1993 “Multi-Media Survey”, BAUHOUSE, Baltimore, MD

1991 “Three Painters”, Berland-Hall Gallery, New York, NY

1987 “Sue Carlson”, White Columns, Bill Arning, curator, New York, NY

1984 “Sue Carlson, Stephen Paul Miller”, ABC No RIO, New York, NY

1984 “The 222 Painting“ (solo show), No Se No Gallery, New York, NY

1982 “New Work”, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey


1986-87 studio assistant to Elizabeth Murray, New York, NY

1980-82 MFA, CAL-ARTS (visual art), Valencia, CA, Roy O Disney Scholarship, study with John Baldessari

1979-80 Empire State Studio Program, New York, NY studio assistant to Lucio Pozzi

1979-80 Minneapolis College of Art and Design, MPLS, MN

1974-79 BA, Case Western Reserve University (music history and performance), Cleveland, OH, thesis, “Creating a new notation for 20th century musical sounds” CWRU Music Achievement Award, 1978


Creative Feng Shui Inc.

Neustadt Consulting Group

United States Department of State

private collections


Interview with Brainard Carey; Yale University Radio, Sept. 2015 museumofnonvisibleart.com/interviews/sue-carlson/

Ice, Paint, and Memory: Nordic Landscape Painting 1840-1910, ArtSEEN Journal #7, Microcosm, Fall 2007


1998-2000 Marymount Manhattan College, Issues in Contemporary Art

1984-1994 Bank Street College of Education Lab School, Art and Music