The Nisyros (2017) series is one of Vivian Suter's most significant works. Commissioned for Documenta 14 in Athens, the work was acquired by Mudam for its collection in 2018.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1949 to Swiss/Austrian émigrés, Suter lived and studied art in Basel before moving to Lake Atitlán in Guatemala in 1983 where she continues to live with her mother, the artist Elisabeth Wild. Working from home, her studio opens out on to the country's lush, tropical vegetation. This close relationship with nature is a crucial and essential dimension of Suter's painting and is particularly noticeable in Nisyros.
Titled after the volcanic Greek island in the Aegean Sea where Suter painted it, the entire work comprises 20 canvases, painted with luminous colour and an energy that echoes the circumstances of their creation. Made ‘in’ nature at various locations on the island, including the volcanic crater, the cliff edge and on the rooftop of her house overlooking the sea – the paintings bear traces of the elements, reflecting the ambient light and colours in the landscape of Nisyros. The work is intended to be edited and installed according to the space available, be it a simple, open shelter in the park of the Acropolis, as it was first shown in Athens, or, at Mudam, in response to the hexagonal, light-filled space of the museum's Pavilion Gallery, where they are presented in a new configuration in which the visitor walks amongst the paintings as if through the landscape itself.