Sue Fuller Biography

Sue Fuller




Sue Fuller, painter, printmaker, sculptor and teacher, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 11, 1914, to an engineer father and a mother whose own creativity and interest in Modern art sparked Fuller's artistic path. Her formal training began at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, where she studied under regionalist Joe Johns. During the summer of 1934 she enrolled in a summer course at the Ernest Thurn School with Hans Hoffman. She graduated from the Institute with her BA in 1936, and then enrolled at the Columbia University's Teachers College where she recieved her MA in 1939.

Fuller traveled throughout Europe in the summer of 1937, where she visited the Degenerate Art Exhibition in Munich. Already a student of Modern art, this would prove to be a source of inspiration despite the intention of the exhibit. In 1943 she worked for the first time with Stanley William Hayter at his famed experiemental workshop, Atelier 17, at the New School in New York, assisting in the production of prints by artists such as Andre Masson and Marc Chagall; later, she would return as an experimental artist in her own right.

The following year she took a job as an art teacher for children at the Museum of Modern Art and studied design with Joseph Albers. He introduced her to experimental weaving, the fundamentals of which would cross over into her printmaking techniques. 
While working at Atelier 17, Fuller experimented with adding textures to the soft grounds of her intaglio plates. In 1944, she was an exhibitioner in MOMA's "Hayter and Studio: New Directions in Gravure," and in 1949, having established a name independent of her teachers', she was given a show of her three-dimensional weavings and experimental, abstract lace-making constructions at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery. She would continue to be represented by the gallery until the late 1960s.

Fuller continued to experiment with a variety of mediums, including glassmaking and calligraphy, and she had an extensive and prolific exhibitioning career, paving the way for more women artists in the male-dominated Abstract field. 
Sue Fuller died in Southampton, New York on April 19, 2006.

Fuller received a Tiffany Fellowship in 1948, Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in 1949, a National Institute of Arts and Letters Grant in 1950, and the Carnegie Mellon University Alumni Award of Merit in 1974. She was a member of the Society of American Etchers, the Society of American Graphic Artists, and the Artists Equity Association. She taught at the University of Minnesota, University of Georgia, Columbia University Teachers College, Pratt Institute and the Museum of Modern Art. Her work is represented in the collections of the New York Public Library; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Tate Gallery, London; the Library of Congress; the Fogg Museum of Harvard University; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Carnegie Institute; the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the National Academy of Design, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.