In their paintings of voluptuous female nudes, both Peter Paul Rubens and Barnett Suskind evoke the Venus of Willendorf, a fertility goddess in ancient times. While Rubens used his young wife Helene as a model and often used real women as models, Suskind’s women take us back to the notion of the fertility goddess and to the fragile states of body and mind that cannot be taken for granted. The artist turns his figures, who often spring full-blown, like Boticelli’s Venus, from his fertile imagination, into “everywoman,” and, by extension, into “ordinary people.” His gift as a painter is to remove his figures from the royal and mythic backgrounds that Rubens and Boticelli displayed in order to capture tangible universal moods. The inner emotional states of his ample-bodied figures are without antecedents in the history of art, and this cutting to the core, this way of expressing inner, unspoken states in his nudes and in his portrait heads — is Suskind’s gift.