May 27th, 2010

Ann Craven at Maccarone

Artist: Ann Craven

Venue: Maccarone, New York

Exhibition Title: Flowers

Date: May 1 – June 26, 2010

Click here to view slideshow

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of Maccarone, New York

Press Release:

When we see Craven’s paintings…we are picturing the repetition of language, vision and painting. As a form reoccurs, it becomes more and more like a word — more like a symbol and a signal. *

In ?previous? work, ?Craven? has ?explored ?symbolic? images ?such ?as ?birds, ?deer, ?and? the? moon, ?pulled? from thousands? of? her ?collected ?print? outs,? images ?she? scanned ?and ?printed ?from ?nature ?books ?and ?magazines or? gathered? from ?the ?internet.?? In? her? first? solo? exhibition ?at? Maccarone? Gallery, ?the ?artist? undertakes ?a? new?subject, ?still?life? arrangements? of ?white? roses, ?painted? from ?life. ?Painting ?with ?bravura? improvisational?intensity, ?and ?using? primarily? a ?palette? of? black ?and ?white,? Craven ?reanimates ?the? anachronistic? genre ?of? still?life? flower?painting.

Craven ?began? painting? flowers ?from? observation? several? years ?ago ?when, ?following? the ?death ?of? a? loved?  one, ?she? made? paintings ?of? the? roses ?taken? home ?from ?the ?funeral ?as ?gifts ?for ?her ?family.?? From ?the ?start,? she? approached ?the? subject? with? a? deep ?intuitive? connection? to ?both ?the? historical ?and ?popular? symbolism? of ?the? rose.? The? paintings ?in ?this ?exhibition ?build ?on ?this ?symbolism, ?immersing ?us ?in ?a ?dramatic ?black?and?white? world ?of fluid? scale,? where? rose? petals? become ?spiraling,? almost? galactic? form,? slashes ?of ?black? paint,? depicting? rose? leaves, ?become ?swift?moving ?vectors,? and? dashes ?of? white,? used ?to ?represent? baby’s?  breath,? suggest? clusters? of ?stars.

The ?exhibition? is? organized ?around? three ?groups ?of? paintings, ?each ?installed ?in ?a ?separate? part? of? the?  gallery.? The? first ?room ?contains? a ?series ?of? nine ?paintings ?of? bouquets ?of? white? roses ?in ?glass ?or ?crystal? vases ?situated ?on? a ?simple ?studio? stool, ?all ?painted? from ?observation.? For? the? backgrounds,? Craven ?uses? flower? motifs ?redeployed? from ?her? previous ?paintings,? making ?these? new? paintings, ?in? effect, ?flowers? on? flowers.

In ?the? second ?room? are ?“copies” ?of? the ?paintings ?in ?the ?first? room. ?The? copies ?are? mirror? images ?of ?the? “original” ?paintings,? flipped ?left? to? right? along ?their ?vertical ?axes.? The ?copies ?are ?installed ?in? clockwise? rotation, ?also ?mirroring ?the? counter?clockwise ?rotation? of ?the ?paintings ?in ?the ?first ?room.

Around? the? street?facing ?perimeter? wall? of ?the ?gallery,? Craven? has ?installed? her? “stripe ?paintings” ?– ?that? she? makes ?using? the ?paint? left? over? on ?her ?palette ?after? completing ?each ?painting.? Craven? considers ?these? stripe? paintings? to ?be ?“born”? from ?the ?flower? paintings ?and? refers ?to ?them ?as ?a ?third? set ?of ?flowers.

Craven’s? paintings? ??? the ?originals,? mirrored? copies,? and ?stripes ??? ?raise? complex? questions.? What ?exactly? occurs? when? Craven ?makes? a? mirrored? copy,? stroke ?for ?stroke, ?of ?an? original, ?painted ?alla ?prima ?from? a? three?dimensional ?motif?? The ?spontaneous, ?focused? gesture ?is? repeated? and ?thus ?reified, ?an ?image ?of? an? object? becomes ?a? mirror? image ?of ?an ?image.?? The ?improvisational? brush stroke, ?usually? considered? a? recording ?of ?a ?unique? movement? of ?a ?body? in ?time,? is? re?performed,? becoming? choreographed.?? With? the? stripe ?paintings, ?representation ?and? execution? are ?still ?further ?reified.? Left?over? paint,? applied? in ?parallel? brush? strokes,? becomes? another? sign ?for? a ?bouquet? of ?flowers.

With? Craven’s ?acute ?departure ?from ?her? previous ?iconography, ?she ?takes ?on ?a ?new ?language? to? communicate? the? deep? psychological ?rigor ?it? takes ?to? re?paint? paintings,? brush ?stroke ?for? brush stroke,? color? by ?color,? line? by ?line. ?As? Craven? stated? in ?2006,?“?I? often ?take ?the? memory? of ?the ?last? painting ?and? bring ?it ?into ?the ?next ?painting.? The ?new ?painting? becomes? the? memory ?of ?the? moment ?just ?past.”

* Bianca ?Beck? and ?Josh ?Brand, ?On ?Ann ?Craven,? or? Painting ?Again:? Memory,? Mirror,? Moon,? March, ?2008.

Link: Ann Craven at Maccarone

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