Suzanne Anker

Profile Picture
Currently based
New York, New York
Affiliated institution
School of Visual Arts
Documented / archived by
Evan Durkin, Suzanne Anker

Suzanne Anker is a visual artist and theorist working at the intersection of art and the biological sciences. She works in a variety of mediums ranging from digital sculpture and installation to large-scale photography to plants grown by LED lights. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally in museums and galleries including the Walker Art Center, the Smithsonian Institute, the Phillips Collection, P.S.1 Museum, the JP Getty Museum, the Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charite in Berlin, the Center for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin, the Pera Museum in Istanbul and the Museum of Modern Art in Japan. Her books include The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Age, co-authored with the late sociologist Dorothy Nelkin, published in 2004 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Visual Culture and Bioscience, co-published by University of Maryland and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Her writings have appeared in Art and America, Seed Magazine, Nature Reviews Genetics, Art Journal, Tema Celeste and M/E/A/N/I/N/G. Her work has been the subject of reviews and articles in the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art, Nature and has been cited by Barbara Maria Stafford, Donna Haraway and Martin Kemp in their texts. Most recently she has collaborated with anthropologist Sarah Franklin, on an article and interview for Social Text journal. She has hosted twenty episodes of the Bio Blurb show, an Internet radio program originally on WPS1 Art Radio, in collaboration with MoMA in NYC, now archived on Alana Heiss’ Art On Air. She has been a speaker at Harvard University, the Royal Society in London, Cambridge University, Yale University, the London School of Economics, the Max-Planck Institute, Universitiy of Leiden, the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum in Berlin, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, Banff Art Center any many others. Chairing SVA’s Fine Arts Department in NYC since 2005, Ms. Anker continues to interweave traditional and experimental media in her department’s new digital initiative and the Nature and Technology BioArt Lab. (

Chair: Fine Arts Department, School of Visual Arts, NYC.

Established a Bio Art Laboratory at the School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York City.

Visiting Researcher at the Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (Zfl), Berlin.

Curator of “Fundamentally Human, Contemporary Art and Neuroscience.” Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey.

Curator of “Neuroculture; Visual Art and the Brain.” Westport Arts Center, CT.

"Face Value: Plastic Surgery and Transformation Art." New York Academy of Sciences, New York.

Instructor in the Department of Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York.

The Bio Blurb Show (20 episodes). WPS1 Art Radio.

Release of a book entitled “The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Age”, written together with Dorothy Nelkin.

“Reprotech: Building Better Babies.” New York Academy of Sciences, New York.

Curator of “From Code to Commodity: Genetics and Visual Art.” New York Academy of Science, New York.

Chair: Art History Department, School of Visual Arts, NYC.

Curator of “Gene Culture: Molecular Metaphor in Visual Art”, shown at the Fordham University, New York.

Co-Director: Theoretical Studies in Art, White Columns, NYC.

Associate Professor, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, NYC.

1988 - 1993
Director: Painting and Drawing Program. New York University, Department of Art and Art Professions

MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder

BA from Brooklyn College (City University of New York)
- Received a New York Foundation for the Arts Award
- Born in Brooklyn, New York
"Vanitas in a (Petri dish)" coasters

Suzanne Anker, pioneering bio artist and creator of stunning visuals at the intersection between Art and the biological sciences, is now offering a selection from her Vanitas (in a Petri dish) project for sale as coasters. These useful household objects bring Art into everyday life, with images that connect the legacy of 17th Century Dutch still life paintings with today’s climate crisis awareness. The traditional symbols of mortality and the transience of human pursuits, take on new meaning in this practical incarnation. Available on

"Vanitas in a (Petri dish)" coasters
Artists Stories from the Pandemic

In April 2020, the Parrish Art Museum invited more than 100 artists living and working on Long Island’s East End to contribute their voices to a historical record.

Exhibitions & Events