Liquescent – Kim Anno

Press Release

PATRICIA SWEETOW GALLERY is pleased to present Kim Anno, Professor & Chair of Painting and Drawing at California College of the Arts, San Francisco, in Liquescent, an exhibition of new paintings. We are also honored to debut Gail Wight, Associate Professor of Art at Stanford University in her first exhibition at the gallery. Gail Wight presents Intertidal Zone, an installation with object and video. Exhibition dates are September 10 through October 17, 2009. The artists’ reception is Thursday, September 10, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Two illustrated catalogs accompany the exhibitions – Kim Anno, Liquiscent, essay by Tirza Latimer, who is Chair of Visual and Critical Studies at California College of the Arts, San Francisco. She received her PhD in Art History at Stanford University in 2003. Also, Gail Wight, Intertidal Zone, essay by Berin Golonu, who is a doctoral candidate in the Visual and Cultural Studies program at the University of Rochester, NY. She was Associate Curator of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco from 2003 to 2008.

Borrowing from the introduction of Tirza Latimer’s eloquent essay, it seems fitting to open with Kim Anno’s thoughts about abstract painting: To leave something out, to change the implied gravity of the picture plane, to allow the viewer to complete the experience of the work, to conjure the familiar while foiling narrative expectations, these are the tools of the contemporary abstract painter.

Liquescent, Kim Anno’s third exhibition at PSG, includes 10 paintings. The paintings kindle thoughts of Arctic ice flows under an illuminated northern polar light. Her paintings capture the serene beauty of an extraordinary moment, albeit one threatened by environmental degradation. Noting Anno’s use of white oil paint poured on a hand marked aluminum surface, Tirza Latimer writes, “These are not quiet paintings. They are charged with the strange beauty of unnatural catastrophe and animated by the elemental tensions of a cycle that transforms solid to liquid, liquid to vapor.”

Anno’s exhibition departs from previous works where the theatricality of marks made by various hand made instruments dominates the surface. Transforming her aluminum support by abrading, scouring, and scraping, the new works subtly refract light along incised paths, which she then wipes with a tincture of barely-there color nudged against the poured pool of white. Tirza Latimer explains, “Rather than vaunting the cool anonymity and machine-made perfection of the industrial material (as male minimalists such as Carl AndreĢ or Donald Judd have done), Anno ‘messes with’ the metallic surface, ‘roughing it up’ for the paint to adhere. ‘This creates an image gestalt to work with or against,’ Anno claims. Moreover, this preliminary scouring lays down the first layer of marking that transforms the aluminum itself into an expressive medium, troubling the dichotomous distinction between machine-produced and hand-crafted.”

Kim Anno is Professor and Chair of Painting and Drawing at the California College of the Arts, San Francisco. As an educator and strong arbiter in the arts, she recently presented Rearranging Abstraction at the College Art Association in Los Angeles, an exploration of abstraction outside the canon of modernism. Additionally, she co-directed Rising Tide: The Arts and Ecological Ethics Conference, held at California College of the Arts, San Francisco, and Stanford University.

Grants and fellowships include University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Paula and Edwin Sidman Visiting Humanities Fellowship; Eureka Fellowship, Fleishhacker Foundation; California Arts Council Residency Fellowship for American Violence Art Project; St. Benedict’s Press Artists’ Book Commission for The Mirror of Simple Souls with poet Anne Carson; Gerbode Foundation Purchase Award; Creative Work Fund Grant, Walter and Elise Haas Foundation; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fellowship at Yaddo Corporation; Western States Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowship.

Collections include San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; University of California, Berkeley Art Museum; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Columbia University Butler Rare Books Library, New York; Oakland Museum, California; Harriet Tubman Museum, Georgia; St. John’s University, Minnesota; Kresge Museum, Michigan State University; Arizona State University; and many others.

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