At college in San Francisco, Suzanne Jackson (b. 1944) encountered the 1960s counterculture, whose social, ecological, and artistic movements often find mystical expression in her work. These two panels conjure the elements – wind and water – that give life and bring change. Commissioned by Sonny Bono, of the musical duo Sonny and Cher, Wind and Water (1975) reflects the psychedelic influences of the time. Dreamlike landscapes and allegorical figures abound in Jackson’s paintings, which are is steeped in the spiritual symbolism of 70s Afrocentrism as they are in the natural world of her Alaskan childhood. “If…the symbols reflect my culture, my upbringing, my environment, and especially my femininity, ” Jackson says, “that is simply in everything of beauty and value that I want to do.”
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
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