Suzanne Nacha: Planets of the Universe

17 August - 24 September 2023

With a comic sense of wonder, Planets of the Universe builds on the idiosyncratic geo-narrative works of Suzanne Nacha. The show features painting, sculpture and photos that propose a type of rock-origin story.


Large and small-scale paintings feature stratified rock bodies in colourful terrains. Taking on anthropomorphic form, rocks evolve in relation to their environment – assembling, breaking down, or piling up.  While paintings feature rocks in conversation with landscapes; their ceramic counterparts act as solo protagonists. Cenotaphs, markers, or standing stones are suggested by the lone, upright stance of these sculptures, while their animal appearance evokes allegorical figures. Revealing a window onto her working process, model-scale environments of clay, paint, and paper are constructed and photographed to become original source material for paintings. The built worlds are a stage where the unpredictable effects of light, shadow, and visual surprise are teased out and captured.


From absurd to ominous – Planets of the Universe presents cartoonish geo-narratives tied to their internal landscape, materiality, process, and time. But while they reflect inwardly as discreet idiosyncratic worlds - they also reference our own physical world, the processes at play, and ask questions about our existence on a planet that is just one among billions in the known universe.


Suzanne Nacha’s imagery draws playfully from both geology and art history. She is informed by her experiences mapping the far-reaches of Canada, creating geologic maps that span the earth’s continents, and the study of structural geology. Nacha received her MFA from York University in 2003, and has exhibited in Canada, the United States and Europe. Her work is represented in public and private collections, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the National Bank of Canada, and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery.