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Obituaries

Wendy Sussman; Abstract Painter, Art Teacher

April 12, 2001

Wendy Sussman, 51, a painter of massive figurative canvasses and a UC Berkeley art professor. The Brooklyn-born Sussman earned a master of fine arts degree from Brooklyn College and taught at the Pratt Institute in New York before joining the Berkeley staff in 1989. She originally painted in a realist style, but moved into abstraction after a 1986 Rome Prize Fellowship enabled her to study early Renaissance painting at the American Academy in Rome. Events in her own life--the death of her parents in 1989 and the birth and growth of her young son--enhanced her abstract style. She was particularly praised for a series of 12 large oil paintings she did as a kaddish, or prayer for her parents, that emerged from her intense mourning for them. The paintings were displayed locally in 1995 at the University of Judaism's Platt Gallery in Bel-Air. Sussman also exhibited her work in Rome, New York, San Francisco and San Diego. On March 29 in Oakland, Calif., of cancer.

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