Gerald Peters Gallery Contemporary

For More Information

Maria Hajic

505 954 5719

Susan Brearey is known for her unique, iconic depiction of animals. In her paintings, primal, totemic images take the place of the photorealistic details found in some other works of wildlife art. Animals become primeval shapes, rudimentary and almost featureless, set against abstract surfaces. Brearey’s evocative approach was inspired in large part by the cave paintings at Lascaux, France. Brearey first saw the paintings in the mid-1980s as a college student, an experience that turned her into a serious painter. The primitive imagery is further enriched by Brearey’s experiments with texture. Brearey has used gesso, mixtures of oil and wax, found materials such as leaves and bark, and patterns of wood grain to give each work a unique surface.


My work is about seeing animals and the environments in which they live. I am inspired by the peace, beauty, and solitude I find within the experience of moving through wilderness areas, studying and observing the habitats, plants, and creatures with whom we share the planet. It is in these places that I find the sources for my work. I am often struck by the fleeting instant of a deer running into view, or the powerful presence of a bear whose terrain I have wandered near as a fortunate encounter, an encounter where I may begin to understand the often unseen parts of the habitat and within specific human-imposed frameworks. These frameworks come from my awareness of human and industrial growth as having a huge impact upon the ecosystems surrounding us and supporting us. For me, animals endure our presence and attentions with a bemused tolerance and patience, so often lacked by our own species.

– Susan Brearey

A native of rural New England, Brearey attended college at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She holds an MFA in painting and printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design. Susan has taught at several art programs in the United States and abroad including the Rhode Island School of Design and Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art, Pont Aven, France. She has been awarded fellowships in Gothenburg, Sweden and at The American Academy in Rome, Italy.