Meet the Artist, Susan Te Kahurangi King, APS Edition

APS Editions – formerly, ‘Auckland Print Studio’ – released a new portfolio of large-scale lithographs by Susan Te Kahurangi King.

In this new series of hand-coloured lithographs, Susan King creates emergent, cell-like geometries that teem with possibility, a Cambrian explosion of kaleidoscopic, interlocking colour. King’s lyrical abstractions are networks or lattices for the mind to traverse, meditative spaces that enable dream, reflection and thought to flourish.

Susan Te Kahurangi King (b. 1951) is a self-taught artist whose interest in drawing began during her childhood in the 1950s, and over the subsequent decades has developed into a visually rich, idiosyncratic and evocative practice. Te Kahurangi King is non-verbal. The artist stopped speaking around the age of four – and from then on, her artwork has been her primary form of communication.

During her early years, much of King’s work included a strong focus on the deconstruction, recontextualisation and interpretation of pop culture iconography, ranging from Disney and Warner Bros. cartoon and comic strip characters to motifs drawn from advertising signage and illustrations. Amongst other sources, the fluid, energetic linework and rounded volumes of imported American comics provided King a wealth of motifs; Donald Duck’s blue sailor suit and hat feature in an extended series of 1960s and ‘70s works, while the sleek contours of various Disney characters’ hands, beaks and limbs gradually fold and coalesce into a novel, biomorphic visual discourse that is both culturally resonant and intensely personal.

APS Editions presented at the Aotearoa Art Fair 2022. 

Image: Susan Te Kahurangi King print. Courtesy of the artist and APS Editions. Photography by Sam Hartnett.