Introducing the Collections 7

Sue Coe (1951-)
Capitalism, 1987
Photo-etching on Rives paper, 40 x 29cm.
© 1987. Sue Coe. Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York
Collection of Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Sue Coe (born 1951 in Tamworth, Staffordshire) is an English artist and illustrator working primarily in drawing and printmaking, often in the form of illustrated books and comics. Coe studied at the Royal College of Art in London, lived in New York City from 1972 to 2001. She currently lives in upstate New York.

English painter, draughtsman, etcher and mixed media artist. She studied at Chelsea School of Art, London (1968–71) and at the Royal College of Art (1970–73. After graduating she moved to New York, where she taught at the School of Visual Arts until 1978; she also began to illustrate for newspapers and magazines such as the New York Times. Coe made images that protested against social and political injustice, with early themes being the Ku Klux Klan and street violence, using an exaggerated, sometimes caricatured realism, as in The Klan (1976; see Paintings and Drawings, 1985). During the 1980s Coe’s imagery became more expressionist, and she tackled subjects from US foreign policy to rape, for example US Military Successfully Bombs a Mental Hospital in Grenada (1984; New York, Met.). A theme that was to become dominant in the 1980s and the 1990s was the mistreatment of animals, both for scientific experimentation and food. Her book Dead Meat uses the mistreatment of animals as a microcosm of society, exploring the negative aspects of capitalism and greed in symbolic and graphic terms. During this period Coe’s work became increasingly stark, using collagedrawing and painting in a style reminiscent of artists such as Otto Dix. Coe considers herself as more of a journalist than an artist and continues to make images for newspapers and magazines, protesting against wars, prejudice and inequality.

Catherine M. Grant
From Grove Art Online

© 2009 Oxford University Press


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