Sue Coe is a true Cassandra for our times. But unlike the proverbial canary in the coal mine, she is no victim. She has willingly put herself in the thick of the swamp since the 1980s and through the alchemy of her social protest art, emerged if not triumphant, a prophet we cannot afford to ignore.
The current exhibition of her works at GSE, Galerie St. Etienne in New York City, “It Can Happen Here,” is available in its entirety online, with an essay that not only introduces the reader to her political obsessions but provides a historical overlay of the ills of a society that has so often put profits above individual lives. In her scathing linocuts and graphite depictions, she has tackled it all—systemic racism, income inequalities, the lack of healthcare, global warming, police brutality, a rising and insidious fascism, the ravages of plagues, from AIDS to the COVID virus, and—Donald Trump.