How many exhibition works:
From Joan of Arc to 20th century Suffragist Inez Milholland, the history of women’s empowerment intermixes with the history of women equestrians. In Suzy Spence’s exhibition The Hunt, paintings executed in her lucid gestural hand vivify a world of mostly women riders who range boldly over each surface. Without being explicitly narrative, these works suggest a psychological linkage between the characters, who might be mothers and daughters, aunts, sisters, friends or lovers, among possible affiliations. United in poise and skill—staged in the context of foxhunting “drags”— in which mounted riders chase the scent of a fox rather than the animal itself—the works link horseback riding—a traditional site of female empowerment—with close study of class and gender in foxhunting and its currency in light of the insurgent #metoo moment in which we find Ourselves.
Suzy Spence’s paintings consider contemporary power struggles through the elegant metaphor of fox hunting. Turning the genteel athletic, sartorial, and social traditions of fox hunting toward lucid social commentary, Spence creates psychologically-rich paintings of steely riders joined in dark complicity—soldiers, sisters, friends. They are on the hunt.
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