Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Many Faces of Anne Marie Grgich

California native , Anne Grgich began making Art Brut at age fifteen, when she began painting in her family’s books, or making junk constructions. Most noted for her faces. Described by her as ‘manifestations of conglomerated persona, in a way acting out these characters’.

They were described by one art critic as a “displacement for action in the world out there; fragments of experience, thought and interaction brought together to produce new possibilities out of contemplation.” As she puts it, ‘bundling images, separating them’, then looking for ‘interrelating pieces to build meaning and feeling’.

Seen separately these faces are individually commanding, but seen together, they form not so much a series of portraits as a group of living presences.

In practice the works operate on a very shallow picture space; everything takes place on or near the picture surface, with any depth produced mostly by a literal layering of materials and the incongruous introduction of perspective in some of the collaged elements.

Collage helps to effect an almost alchemical transformation in the works, through its function as sign, to its active involvement in the dialogue between paint, drawing and resin.

In Anne Grgich’s work collage, when bound together by paint, resin and pen, often provides the equivalent of a city walk; a distillation of the little marginalia of experience, things noticed out of the corner of one’s eye, as well as more expectedly assertive phenomena. This is especially powerful at times in her handmade books, which can look like a little pile of discarded packaging at first glance, but which reveal a rich treasure when opened and pored over.

She says that practicality and simplicity influenced her style, driven by the need for visual clarity and lack of space and materials

Anne frequently travels, teaching inspirational workshops geared toward all levels, all ages in many formats, that together make the bulk of her creativity. As she puts it, “I help open artists up.”

“Recently I lectured and gave slide shows at Eastern Oregon University for an auditorium of 500 people on my work and on the exhibition, Internal Guidance Systems, I created with Professor Colin Rhodes from the UK, AU. The exhibition has over 27 artists including my own work."
(The exhibition website)

"For teaching experience, I've traveled to Green Bay University, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to teach and lecture (thanks Norbert H. Kox), and with Glenny at Art and Soul, Virginia; Art Unraveled in Phoenix Arizona; taught twice in Lake Elsinore, California; and will have been twice in January 2007 in Port Townsend, Washington. I also taught privately to a lovely group of ladies near Chicago and in Baltimore, Maryland at the beautiful art workshops at The American Folk Art Museum."

"I first started teaching in 1983 at The Multnomah Learning Center, in Portland Oregon. Currently I am teaching privately with Art on Taylor in January 2007 and at The Art House in Nashville, Tennessee February 2008 and with Linda Young — Art Unraveled August 2007, and other workshops lining up for 2007-2008. I hope to be traveling abroad by 2008."

Please see more work by this fascinating artist AT HER WEB SITE.

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Stacy Alexander