April 23, 2008

Ann Craven's bird and moon paintings

While Craven first exhibited paintings of the moon in 1996, she began the current series of moon paintings—now numbering into the hundreds—in 2001, working on the rooftop of her Harlem studio, also in Maine, and most recently in France, during a fall 2007 artist residency. Each of the small, square (14 x 14 inches) canvases in this exhibition is a sequential variation on her theme—the moon is depicted in all its phases, with a wide range of atmospheric effects. The moon paintings, as writer Matt Keegan recently stated in Modern Painters (February 2007), explore, “repetition, systematization, permutation, and their intersections with time; a foregrounding of process.”

"Mauve, Naples yellow, and bone-white are among the colors Craven uses for the full or crescent moons in each of these 14-inch-square paintings. The 94 canvases here have been worked wet into wet, the lighter color of the half-dollar-size moons blurring into black or midnight-blue grounds, sometimes surrounded by attenuated halos or fractured by crooked tree branches. Craven's wristy brushwork and misty hues transform oil paint into convincing atmospherics, the rich contrasts offering a sense of clear country air far from urban light pollution." (via R.C. Baker in The Village Voice)



"Ann Craven: Moon Birds," Knoedler, New York, NY. Through April 26.

Related post:
Ann Craven speaks in Cambridge

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