Susan Scott Rowland passed away Sunday, August 25, 2019 at age 79. Susan lived a full life, as an artist who was endlessly looking, exploring and producing. I knew Susan and her artwork, during the later years of her life. Susan’s output was prolific, first as an abstract expressionist painter and then expanded to ceramics and botanical monoprints.

Below: Amaryllis Again, Oil paint on canvas, 1991


Below: Pod with Dodies Blue, crayon, oil stick and charcoal on paper, 1999.


Below: Pod/Yellow (diptych), crayon, oil stick and charcoal on paper, 1999.


I was first drawn to Susan’s work through her writing. She was smart, well read and engaging. She thought deeply about creativity and its context. You can read her own words here about her Carlas and here about her 9/11 Weed Prints.

Below: Carla, high fired glazed stoneware, 2004.


Below: 9/11 Weed Monoprint, 2002.


Susan’s creativity surged with her exploration of ceramics – she twisted and distorted classic vessel shapes and then developed glazes that drew from her gestural abstract expressionist knowledge. During this period, Susan also experimented with monoprints. She printed weeds, snow, dog fur, ice and then, after 9/11, conceived of her 9/11 series.

Below: Pitcher, high fired glazed stoneware.


Below: Bell, high fired glazed stoneware.


Below: Vessels, high fired glazed stoneware.


Below: Grasses monoprint with Bird, multimedia, 2009.


Susan loved Brooklyn, where she last lived, with her husband, Judge Charles P. Sifton. Susan was a trustee of the Brooklyn Arts Council and sat on the New York State Council of the Arts and NYCDCA panels.

Susan’s family and her Ft Greene community came together to produce a retrospective show of her work, “Uncontained Forces”, in 2013 in the Charles P. Sifton Gallery at the Federal Courthouse. We all loved Susan’s work, and had not fully appreciated her prodigious output until then.

Below is Susan’s work in the process of being collected for her show.


Susan with the poet and collaborator, Frederick L. Seidel.


Below: Vessel, text – Frederick L. Seidel, 1991, high fired glazed stoneware.


Below: Susan and Donald Sultan, friend and fellow artist.


Below: The opening of Susan’s show, “Uncontained Forces”.


Susan Rowland has work in the collection of the Guggenheim Museum and has had shows in Manhattan at the Kate Ganz, Marlborough and Spike Galleries, and at Susan Youngblood in Sag Harbor.

Thank you, Susan, for the gifts you left us. We will miss you.