Skip to main content

Susan Howe

Born 1937 in Boston, MA
Lives and Works in Guilford, CT

Susan Howe's poems on view in the 2014 Biennial draw on a wide variety of texts, spanning American, British, and Irish poetry and folklore as well as critical and art historical sources. She begins with copies of the source material, which range from excerpts from the texts themselves to their footnotes, tables of contents, and marginalia. From these, she cuts out sentences and fragments of pages, pasting and taping them to create a new text that retains the typefaces, spacing, and rhythms of the originals. These compositions, built through both controlled and chance arrangements, are then made into letterpress prints, as the characters are imprinted, almost carved, into the paper support. In the final version, the edges of the original fragments disappear, resulting in poems that are at once legible and illegible and which occupy a space between writing and seeing, between reading and looking. For Howe, “the bibliography is the medium.”

On View
Second Floor

Susan Howe’s work is on view in the Museum’s second floor galleries.

Works by Susan Howe



A 30-second online art project:
LaTurbo Avedon, Morning Mirror / Evening Mirror

Learn more

All visitors aged 12 and older must show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for admission to the Whitney, in accordance with NYC requirements. Visitors aged 18 and older will also be asked to show photo ID. Face coverings are required for all visitors. Learn more about the Whitney’s safety guidelines.