About the Photographer
American, b. 1949
Susan Rankaitis is a multimedia artist who works primarily in painting, photography and drawing. Completing a BFA at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (1971), and an MFA at University of Southern California (1977), Rankaitis was initially an abstract painter before turning to photography. Inspired by the photograms of László Moholy-Nagy, she began to develop a multifaceted, deliberately unconventional approach to photography, utilizing various chemical processes in the darkroom, the incorporation of other media, and composite imagery. For over a decade she has focused on representations of the brain and DNA, as in the mixed media works mounted on steel that are represented in MoCP's collection. For a number of projects, she has worked collaboratively with molecular biologists and neuroscientists. Since 1990 Rankaitis has been a professor and Fletcher Jones Chair of Art at Scipps College located in Claremont, California.