Featured Artist | David Suter |  Jan. 1 – Feb. 29, 2020

Guggenheim Gallery | 63 Huyck Rd. Rensselaerville, NY 12147 | 9am-5pm

David Suter is an American artist known for his many years producing editorial illustrations for clients such as The Washington Post, Time and The New York Times. Known as “Suterisms” or “visual koans,” his illustrations are notable for their use of bistable perception, in which Suter combines multiple images and concepts into a single image. Suter is also an accomplished fine art painter and sculptor.

Suter grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, the son of Richard Sturgis Suter, who worked in the CIA, and Angela Phillips Suter, an artist. He was influenced early on by the mathematically inspired work of M. C. Escher.

Suter attended a number of different colleges before being drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. He spent his deployment in West Germany. Upon returning to the U.S., Suter worked at The Washington Post as an illustrator and courtroom artist during the Watergate scandal trials.

Suter was awarded a Michigan Journalism Fellowship in 1977, where he spent a year studying fine art, philosophy, and history at the University of Michigan. Upon completion of the fellowship, in 1978, Suter moved to New York City to pursue editorial illustration full-time. He quickly become sought-after by such publications as The New York Times (both on the op-ed page and the book review), Time magazine (for whom he did a number of covers), Harper’s Magazine and the Chicago Tribune.

Speaking of his illustrations Suter says, “I don’t think of them as puns. I like to think of them as equations. Every story suggests a certain number of images. And then there are other images, the visual clichés that are in everybody’s mind and sort of make up their mental scenery, like the Pentagon, the Statue of Liberty, or the Cross. My mind is like a slot machine: You pull the lever and eventually one of the images from the article comes to rest next to a cliché that looks something like it. . . . It’s a little like algebra. I try to combine the two images through a process of finding similarities and canceling out dissimilar aspects.”

Suter is now a Rensselaerville resident, and has adorned his house with intricate wood carvings, both inside and out. He also carves his own frames for his artwork, in addition to constructing 3-D Suterisms from wood. He can often be seen around town working out new ideas in his notebook — his mind and hands always at work.


Join us for an Artist Reception with David on Sunday, January 5, from 2pm-4pm.

An illustration of Margaret Thatcher as an industrial building with billowing smoke stacks as sweeping hair
“Margaret Thatcher”, Illustration used for Time Magazine Cover Released February 16, 1981
An illustration of a person falling over a cliff and another man reaches for and grabs the money in the falling mans pocket.
“Fiscal Cliff”