Essex Art Association

Established 1946

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Ann Knickerbocker

Gantner Gallery, July 30 - August 20, 2022

Artist Statement

Painting has become more challenging for me with time. It might just be me, or it might be that I am listening to the paintings more carefully these days. My first individual show was in Valetta, Malta, in 1990, and the gestures in that work were broad and wild. Every year I seem to have added layers to the abstract structure of my paintings.  Because paintings are constructs, I have decided that these layers are useful because they mark the path of aesthetic change over time. 

I tend to go into the studio with an idea: the way we live, a poem, another painting, a place, something vaguely remembered from a dream. In the end, the painting won’t necessarily adhere to that initial idea; sometimes the work takes an unexpected (and sometimes rocky) path. 

Since March 2020, my husband and I have been isolating more than most people.  Life is very quiet. My dreams have been filled with people and events and art and travel at a time when everything is remote. I wake up and find, increasingly, that my canvases are very “full,” too, with many layers, some text, some objects, the occasional human form. We live in a shore-country setting, but the newest canvases are jewel-toned, vibrant, evoking the neon lights of the city. The canvases are filled with all these impossible things. Maybe the paintings are my way into the impossible.