Anne Appleby, Little Sweet Pea, 2008
Oil and wax on wood, 36.6 36.6 inches
Both followers of artist and colour theorist Josef Albers, the American painter Anne Appleby and German artist Kuno Gonschior have a common aspiration of capturing colours, by means of abstraction and through analytical observation of natural experiences.
Anne Appleby (born 1954), former Bay area painter, who works and lives in Montana, is often referred to as a Colour Field artist from her use of large “all over” abstract canvases. After graduating in 1989 with an MFA in Painting at the San Francisco Art Institute, she has for 20 years tried to render the subtle variations of tones and light passing through and over the organic subjects she chooses, for nature is her inspiration and concern. The technique she uses by mixing oil and wax on canvas enables her to obtain, layer upon layer, a delicate sensation of translucence and depth observed in nature, from its ephemeral events. Appleby likes to work in large triptychs or associations of panels, which allows the viewer to enter the fields easily. The contemporary art collector Guiseppe Panza, who commissioned her for the Phaeton’s room at the Ducal Palace of Sassuolo (Modena) is one of her admirers: “Her paintings are the landscapes of a nature that is invisible to our eyes but not to our conscience, which goes beyond the visible.” (Memories of a Collector, Abbeville Press, 2007, p.284).
After studying at the art academy of Düsseldorf and Cologne from 1957-1963, Kuno Gonschior (born 1935) started to create series of chromatic experiences. These series, based on capturing colours as a pure element, only differ from each other by their nuances. Gonschior’s works are playful and experimental, studying colour in all its variation and without the association of the psyche. The Mayor Gallery is showing a selection from the first two decades of his research as a Concrete artist. Often painted on small un-primed canvases, Gonschior applied small dabs of paint, as particles, bearing similarities with the impressionists and his palette, without limit, explored fluorescent colours to black.
Gonschior and Appleby, although two very distinctive artists, aim to touch a wider public, who often reject abstract, but as Gonschior explained at his recent museum exhibition in Germany: “It isn’t about having the right education, you just have to free your mind from these constraints and do the one thing that most people don’t do: concentrate and study the painting for a while, give the painting a chance –for say – 5 minutes. That will have an impact.” (in conversation with W. Smerling, “Just for you and me”, exhibition catalogue, MKM Duisburg, p.28)
The Mayor Gallery will also exhibit a number of paintings by Josef Albers to compliment their works.