Susan Hiller, 1940–2019

Courtesy Lisson Gallery, London, Milan and New York

Susan Hiller, the American artist who made Britain her home, has died. Born in Florida, where she initially studied anthropology, she moved to the UK in the 1960s to embark on at art career that would variously incorporate installation, film, painting, writing, sculpture and photography. Her subjects ranged from paranormal phenomena such as automatic writing, telekinesis and supernatural encounters – an area of investigation that she designated ‘paraconceptual’ – to questions of language and dreams.

She said, in 2015, 'I tend not to look backward except I have to say that, as you get older, looking forward becomes more complicated. When you are young, you have some idea of the future: you’re going to get older, you’re going to get better at what you are doing, you’re going to be more in control of your life. When you get older, it is a bit like being an adolescent – every day is different. It is a strange thing. You are proceeding into the unknown, which is different from growing up and proceeding into the known.'

Hiller enjoyed significant recognition towards the end of her career. A major retrospective of her work at Tate Britain in 2011 was followed by invitations to participate in the most recent editions of Documenta (2012, 2017), while the past two years also saw major solo exhibitions in Turin, Vancouver and Miami.

29 January 2019