Suzanne Santoro was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 7, 1946. Her childhood was spent in museums and art classes at the Brooklyn Museum as scholarship student after which she went on to earn a degree in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City as a full four year scholarship student. There her fellow student was Joseph Kosuth and professors such as Dore Ashton, Mel Bochner, Salvatore Scarpitta. So, she was very much exposed to and influenced by painting and sculpture form the 50’s and 60’s, then also by minimalism and conceptual art. Then, she studied set design at New York University. Her association with Dori Asthon led to a working relationship with Mark Rothko which brought her to Rome where she decided to stay. Suzanne then began her studies of ancient and classic art, concentrating on female statuary in ancient Roman sculpture.
In 1974 she published the book “Towards New Expression”. The book explored the drapery on classical female statuary whereby the author found underlying structures representing the female sexual form. The publication of the book then led her to explore this theme further by making molds of various parts of the female body in trasparent polyester resin. Tihs book laid the foundation for her work up through the present. Suzanne’s work caused quite a stir when her book, “Towards New Expression” was censored by The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Roszika Parker wrote “Censored”, a three page article dedicated to Suzanne’s work in Spare Rib in 1977. Often represented in art history publications, Suzanne has, among others, been discussed by Rozsika Parker, Griselda Pollock, Hilary Robinson and Mary Kelly.
In 1975, Suzanne, along with ten other italian women (and artists) founded the Beato Angelico Cooperative in Roma, Italy. Among them were Carla Accardi, LeoNilde Carabba, Anna Maria Colucci, Nedda Guidi, Stephanie Oursler, Silvya Truppi. They exhbited contemporary and historical works by women artists like Artemisia Gentileschi, Elisabetta Sirani and Regina. In the intervening years, Suzanne Santoro exhibited her works internationally, lectured and published articles and began her studies as an art therapist.
In 1984, Suzanne earned her degree from the Istituto di Ortofonologia of Rome as Art Therapist, specializing in children’s graphic development. Since 1985, Suzanne has been responsable for the painting and graphic atelier of the Insitute, mainly working with deaf and autistic children between the ages of 8 months through adulthood. She considers her work as an artist highly influenced by her research of the original structures unveiled in the graphic processes of very small children.
Her works are in private and public collections as the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC and the personal archive of the artists, that includes documents of the Beato Angelico Cooperative, is guarded in Archivia, Casa Internazionale delle Donne,in Rome. At present, Suzanne is painting and exhibiting internationally.