King's art

One example of New Zealand native Susan Te Kahurangi King’s art for Aspen Skiing Co.’s 2019-20 lift tickets is pictured.

Aspen Skiing Co. has announced that New Zealand native Susan Te Kahurangi King is the selected artist for the 2019-20 lift tickets.

Born in 1951, King began to lose the ability to speak when she was 5 years old and lost it completely two years later. As King’s inability to speak set in, so too did her heightened ability and commitment to draw. At 7, “she was prolific and showed signs of talent as a young artist,” according to the release.

In 1960, the family moved to Auckland so Susan could attend a newly established special school, which she took part in for almost three decades. At some stage in the early 1990s, King ceased to draw, the release states.

In 2008 — after nearly two decades not focused on drawing — she began her art career in earnest, fueled by renewed interest in her work.

King has been featured in many exhibitions, events and publications in a range of contexts, both as an “outsider artist” and a “contemporary artist,” the release says. These include The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; American Folk Art Museum, New York; Marlborough, London; Outsider Art Fairs in New York and Paris with Chris Byrne; Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York; Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington; City Gallery Wellington; TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, Auckland; and the Auckland Art Fair 2018.

“What becomes immediately evident in King’s drawings is the rigorousness of her visual vocabulary,” the release says. Her recent body of works features “an abundance of color, generated predominantly in felt tip markers, a medium scarcely used in her earlier works.”

The upcoming winter ski season will mark the 15th consecutive year that SkiCo has partnered with an acclaimed artist to design the lift ticket. In previous years, internationally recognized artists such as Hank Willis Thomas, Paula Crown, Yutaka Sone, Peter Doig, Karen Kilimnik, Jim Hodges, Carla Klein, Mamma Andersson, Mark Grotjahn, David Shrigley, Mark Bradford, Anne Collier, Takashi Murakami and Laura Owens have had their works commissioned.

“The Aspen Idea is founded on the ideals of mind, body and spirit, and the lift-ticket art program is a perfect expression of our values of self-reflection and creativity along with our community’s strong bond around the arts,” Mike Kaplan, president and CEO of SkiCo, said in a prepared statement.

“We are incredibly excited to work with Susan King, whose art sparks a similar joy that is found spending time in the beautiful mountains and this incredible community,” Kaplan added.