My paintings are informed by philosophy and art, especially: - Chinese and Japanese art – transcending time and space; - Kandinsky’s conceptual premise that painting and music lead us to a higher level of consciousness – needing no words or story; - American abstract expressionist art, conceptual art and the music of Stravinsky – recognizing the human experience was profoundly altered at the dawn of the 20th century.
I continue to explore themes and techniques I have used in paintings, printmaking and ceramic sculptures over the past 25 years of art making. Several bodies of work are shown on this web site which encompasses 2007-2017. All of these mixed media pieces are made using graphite, acrylic varnish and acrylic paint on synthetic paper (Yupo). The sizes vary dramatically, from one exhibit to the next. Much of the work is site-specific and was created specifically for installations.
Most of the paintings and collages are non-representational while some are biomorphic (curving organic forms that imply human figures or animals). In my paintings, gesture signifies “qi” (the life force) within the Tao (the way of the universe). The abstract work is reminiscent of Asian calligraphy. The patterns echo Japanese woodblock prints.
The designs are organized primarily by movement and by rhythm, which result from the repetition of color and pattern. The texture is created by the acrylic paint puddling and creating a variety of effects on the paper. The space in the picture plane is often ambiguous with no clear foreground and background. A broad brush stroke or gesture is often a key element in the design, as it is in action painting or Asian calligraphy.
The patterns are made by rubbing a stick of graphite on paper with printing plates underneath (including woodblock, linoleum, polymer and other matrices). The surface is then permanently sealed with acrylic varnish which blurs the graphite slightly, creating a patina-like quality.
BRIEF BIO Mary Ann Anderson exhibited extensively at community galleries in Illinois for 20 years before moving to Chapel Hill, NC in 2008. She has presented solo exhibitions at Duke University, the Durham Art Guild and GoldenBelt in Durham; at the Ackland Museum Store and Chapel Hill Library in Chapel Hill; at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC; and at Artspace, Visual Art Exchange (VAE) and HagerSmith Design in Raleigh. Her painting and printmaking were non-representational until 2007, when she began exploring a variety of biomorphic forms which echo her earlier ceramic sculptures. Her art studies from 1996-2007 included painting, printmaking, ceramic and other classes at Ox-Bow, a program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). From 2003 - 2008 she studied with SAIC faculty member, Preston Jackson. Her most recent study was with Clarence Morgan (University of Minnesota faculty) in 2011 and 2014 at Penland School of Craft in North Carolina. Her university course work included classes in art history and philosophy. She has broadened her knowledge of art by visiting many museums in the US, Ireland, France, Italy, China and Japan. Her academic background includes a bachelor's degree from Knox College and master's degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS & INSTALLATIONS "Tethered and Untethered," United Arts Council, VAE Community Exchange Exhibit, Raleigh, NC 2017 "What's the Story?" Golden Belt, Room 100, Durham, NC 2017 "Engage," A.J. Fletcher Foundation, VAE Community Exchange Exhibit, Raleigh, NC, 2016 "Tethered," Chapel Hill Library, NC, 2016 "A Process of Engagement: A Participatory Installation," Ackland Museum Store, Chapel Hill, NC, 2015 "Spiral Dance," Golden Belt, Room 100, Durham, NC, 2014 "Alternative States of Being," Brown Gallery, Duke University, Durham, NC, 2014 "Juxtaposition," Artspace Upfront Gallery, Raleigh, NC, 2014 "A Process of Engagement," Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC, 2013 "Translucents," HagerSmith Design, VAE Community Exchange Exhibit, Raleigh, NC, 2012 "Coming and Going," Artspace Upfront Gallery, Raleigh, NC, 2011 "The Nature of Drawing," a two-person exhibit at Durham Art Guild, Durham, NC, 2011 "Floating World," The ArtsCenter, Carrboro, NC, 2011 Two-person exhibit, Prairie Art Alliance, Springfield, IL, 2008 "Returning to Tao," Contemporary Art Center, Peoria, IL, 2007 Sangamo Club, Springfield, IL, 1999, 2002 City Arts Venue Gallery, Springfield, IL, 2001 "The Colors of the Tao," Strawn Gallery, Art Association of Jacksonville, IL, 2000 Two-person exhibit, Prairie Art Alliance, Springfield, IL, 1999 Illinois Department of Transportation atrium, Springfield, IL, 1999 Unity Church, Springfield, IL, 1999 Exhibit featuring recent work, Prairie Art Alliance, Springfield, IL, 1998 Ceramic Installations, Prairie Art Alliance, Springfield, IL, 1998 Watercolor featured on the cover of the “Springfield Art Guide”, 1998 Two-person exhibit, Prairie Art Alliance Gallery, Springfield, IL, 1997 Illinois Presbyterian Home, Springfield, IL, 1997 "The Studio," installation, Prairie Art Alliance, Springfield, IL, 1996 Unity Church, Springfield,IL, 1995 Springfield College, Springfield, IL, 1992
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS Raleigh Art Society, North Carolina Artists Exhibition, Michael Rooks, High Museum, juror, Raleigh, NC 2017 Artspace, "Retrospective Corridor Exhibit," Raleigh, NC 2017 Visual Art Exchange, "Contemporary South," 2nd Place Award, Sheetal Prajatapati, juror, Raleigh, NC 2017 Durham Art Guild, "62nd Annual Juried Exhibition," Jennifer Edwards, Bechtler Museum, juror, Durham, NC 2016 Visual Art Exchange, "The Beginning of Everything," Raleigh, NC, 2016 Greenville Museum of Art, Biennial Juried Exhibition, Greenville, NC, 2016 Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, "Resolutions," Peter Nisbet, the Ackland Museum, juror, 2016 Durham Arts Council, "I Am Quixote," 2015 Visual Art Exchange, "N.E.W." show of US Artists, David Terry, NY Foundation for the Arts, juror, Raleigh, NC 2015 Artspace, "FRESH," Cora Fisher, curator at SECCA juror, Raleigh, NC 2015 Raleigh Fine Arts Society, Davidson College professor, Herb Jackson juror, Raleigh, NC, 2015 Meredith College, four person exhibit, "Uniquely Human," Raleigh, NC, 2015 UNC Pembroke, 5th International Exhibition," Pembroke, NC, 2015 2-D award, Hillsborough Gallery, "Resolutions," Timothy Riggs juror, Hillsborough, NC, 2015 Visual Art Exchange, "Contemporary South," Crystal Bridges juror, Chad Alligood, Raleigh, NC, 2015 Durham Art Guild, "60th Annual Juried Exhibition," Durham, NC, 2014 2nd place award, Artspace, "New Works," Raleigh, NC, 2014 Visual Art Exchange, "Berserk," Raleigh, NC, 2014 Artspace 3 Person Biennial Exhibition, curated by Jennifer Dasal of the NC Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC, 2013 Visual Art Exchange, "N.E.W." Raleigh, 2013 Visual Art Exchange, "Contemporary South," Raleigh, NC, 2013 Durham Art Guild, Juried Member Show, Durham, NC, 2012 Visual Art Exchange, "N.E.W." exhibit, Raleigh, NC, 2012 Visual Art Exchange, "Exchange Gallery," Raleigh, NC, 2012 Artspace, "New Work" Exhibit, 2012 Artspace, ongoing exhibits, by juried members, Raleigh, NC 2011-2013 Selected for Art of the Auction Fundraiser, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC, 2011, 2012 Durham Art Guild, Member Exhibit, Durham, NC, 2012 Durham Art Guild, Juried Member Exhibit, Durham, NC, 2011 Raleigh Arts Society Exhibit, Peter Nisbet, Ackland Museum Curator, juror, Raleigh, NC, 2011 Artspace, People's Choice Award winner, Raleigh, NC, May, 2011 Artspace, "New Works" exhibit, Raleigh, NC, 2011 Visual Art Exchange, "Unfettered" and "N.E.W." exhibits, Raleigh, NC, 2010 Governors Club Biennial Art Exhibits, Chapel Hill, NC, 2009, 2011, 2013 Contemporary Art Center, Peoria, IL, periodically, 2004 – 2008 Prairie Art Alliance Gallery, Springfield, IL, ongoing, 1996 – 2008 Lakeview Museum, Peoria, IL, 2006 Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL, 2005 Peoria Art Guild, Peoria, IL, 1999, 2004, 2005 First prize, Sangamon Watercolor Society, "Metaphor for Mt. Fuji," Springfield, IL, 2001 Installation, Altar to the Artistic Muse, Springfield New Music Series, Springfield, IL, 2001 New Millennium Art Walk exhibit, Springfield, IL, 2000 Springfield Art Association, Installation, Springfield, IL, 2000 Springfield Area Arts Council, Springfield, IL, 1998, 1999 Loop Art Gallery, Springfield, IL, 1998 Bank One Prairie Art Alliance Exhibit, Springfield, IL, 1998 Panther Creek Country Club, Springfield, IL, 1998 Springfield Art Association Annual Shows, 1990 – 2002 Bank One Annual Watercolor Society Show, Springfield, IL, 1990 – 2002 Illinois Department of Transportation Biennial Prairie Art Alliance Show, Springfield, IL, 1994 - 2000 Lincoln Library Annual Prairie Art Alliance Show, Springfield, IL, 1994 – 2002 Strawn Gallery Prairie Art Alliance Exhibit, Jacksonville, IL, 1997 Strawn Gallery Watercolor Society Exhibit, Jacksonville, IL, 1994
COLLECTIONS Celito Communications, Inc., Raleigh, NC Ben Gordon Center, DeKalb, IL Chestnut Health Systems, Maryville, IL IADDA, Springfield, IL Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield, IL Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL Clarence Morgan's collection, Minneapolis, MN Newman Foundation, Champaign, IL Preston Jackson’s collection, Chicago, IL TASC, Chicago, IL
ART – RELATED STUDY Penland School of Craft, Abstract Painting with Clarence Morgan, Penland, NC, 2011 and 2014 UNC, Chapel Hill, NC, audited Intro to Asian Art, 2009 Contemporary Art Center, Peoria, IL - Painting critiques from Preston Jackson, faculty at SAIC 2003 – 2008 The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) - Ox-Bow Summer School Program 1996 – 2007 - Critique from artist, Suzanne Coffey and from critic, Susan Snodgrass, 1995 University of Illinois, Springfield, Philosophy of Art class, Spring, 2000 Springfield Art Association drawing, painting, ceramics, Springfield, IL, 1989 – 2001 The New England Conservatory of Music, piano study, Boston, MA, 1972 Knox College art history/studio class, Galesburg, IL, 1970
A special thank you to: Clarence Morgan for giving me new insight into the abstract realm and the process of painting. Preston Jackson for his invaluable critiques.
"The moment of inspiration comes by itself, and brushes away all doubts and hesitancies… one has no idea where it comes from, when it starts, nor whither it goes… For painting is only an art, yet it has the power of creation of the universe itself.”