Biography

Suzanne Anker is a visual artist and theorist working at the intersection of art and the biological sciences. Her practice investigates the ways in which nature is being altered in the 21st century. Concerned with genetics, climate change, species extinction and toxic degradation, she calls attention to the beauty of life and the “necessity for enlightened thinking about nature’s ‘tangled bank’.” Anker frequently works with “pre-defined and found materials” botanical specimens, medical museum artifacts, laboratory apparatus, microscopic images and geological specimens. She works in a variety of mediums ranging from digital sculpture and installation to large-scale photography to plants grown by LED lights. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally in museums and galleries including the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; Daejeon Biennale, Korea; ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; P.S.1 Museum, New York, NY; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; the Berliner Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charité, Berlin, Germany; the Center for Cultural Inquiry, Berlin, Germany; the Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey; the Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan; and the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Anker’s exhibitions have been the subject of reviews and articles in the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art, and Nature. Her books include The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Age, co-authored with the late sociologist Dorothy Nelkin, published in 2004 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Visual Culture and Bioscience, co-published by University of Maryland and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Her writings have appeared in Art and America, Seed Magazine, Nature Reviews Genetics, Art Journal, Tema Celeste and M/E/A/N/I/N/G. Her work has been the subject of reviews and articles in the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art, and Nature. She has hosted twenty episodes of the Bio Blurb show, an Internet radio program originally on WPS1 Art Radio, in collaboration with MoMA in NYC, now archived on Alana Heiss’ Clocktower Productions. She has been a speaker at Harvard University, the Royal Society in London, Cambridge University, Yale University, the London School of Economics, the Max-Planck Institute, Universitiy of Leiden, the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum in Berlin, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, Banff Art Center any many others. Chairing SVA’s Fine Arts Department in NYC since 2005, Ms. Anker continues to interweave traditional and experimental media in her department’s new digital initiative and the SVA Bio Art Lab.