Kim Anno exhibition review
Kim Anno is an American artist who studied at California College of the Arts, San Francisco. Anno is best known for being extremely talented in a variety of ways, ranging from painting and photography, to being a book artist and filmmaker/video artist who has exhibited by museums nationally and internationally.
From 22ndMarch 2018 – 20thApril 2018, Kim Anno exhibited some of her paintings, photography, books and a video at the University of Suffolk Waterfront Gallery, titled ‘Nature Studies’. This art show was revolved around the delicacy of nature and Anno’s desire for her past, and how we choose to destroy nature today in order to make the world fit our desire, without a second thought about how we may be damaging our earth. Anno specifically chose particular paintings which were carefully selected by herself for this current exhibition, she developed these images which were captured in the 19thcentury and carefully made by steel engravings; This was a technique first introduced in 1794 by Jacob Perkins on copper metal for bank note reproduction in America.
Kim Anno’s show at the University of Suffolk Waterfront Gallery consisted of 15 pieces of works which she had attentively narrowed down especially for this show. These chosen pieces of works involved 10 oil paintings, 3 photographs, 1 book and 1 video. The photography, books and video are part of an on-going project that Anno is planning to carry on working on and creating multiple pieces of art revolved around the same topic. This topic is based on ‘Men and Women in Water cities’, which was a social practice of art films and collaboration with local, coastal inhabitants, who are impacted by sea level rise and climate change, which was later turned into a book. Anno has travelled across the whole of the world, for her art practice, including the Northern and Southern California, Durban, South Africa, Miami, Florida and Santa Clara in Cuba, she wants her art project to travel to as many coastal communities as possible. The objective of this art project is involving young people from coastal areas in this world and widening their knowledge on the change of climate change which they have inherited from their parents’ generation (Wild projects, 2018).
The exhibition was presented in a large room where the walls were pure white and the floor a slate grey, on the right hand side there was also a pop-up false wall which was there to section off a dedicated area for the video projection which Kim Anno was exhibiting. As you walked into the exhibition you are greeted by a plinth on the left hand side which offered free leaflets to the public, providing a little paragraph about Anno herself on the first page, and details about the work presented in front of you, including the titles of the work, the sizes, medium she used for those particular art works, and the prices. In the middle of the gallery there was a large table with a glass top, inside this had Kim Anno’s book ‘Men and Women in Water Cities’ which was laid out like a large leaflet so that the viewers could see some of the photography which is presented within her book.
The ‘Nature Studies’ exhibition started on the left hand side, and the art works made its way around the gallery in a clock wise order. All of the work were labelled with numbers, and therefore it was easy to follow the work around the gallery in the correct order that Anno obviously wanted it to be viewed by observers.
An extremely bold and outstanding piece of art that was presented at the exhibition was number six, which was named ‘Santa Rosa’, measuring 73.66cm x 50.13cm and was created using oil paints layered upon paper. It is a magnificently painted picture with a black and white back drop, layered with bright and beautifully coloured oil paints, however it is not obvious as to what tool Kim Anno uses to create her paintings, whether she may use a paintbrush or a palette knife. Although, with the smoothness of the oil paints, most may assume that she must use a paintbrush to create her art works. Her art work is very much revolved around colour, texture and space, as well as the main theme being nature.
A particularly interesting art work created by Anno that was displayed at the exhibition was ‘At The Shore (Refugees)’, a painting created on top of wood. In an interview with Bruno Fazzolari, in 2011, Anno explained why she occasionally enjoys layering her creations upon wood and aluminium instead of the conventional piece of paper, Anno stated:
“The metal does two things. It’s solid as a material and can take a lot. It’s very resistant. But when you look at it, there’s a sense of ambiguity about its depth of field, which I play with. The paint sits on the surface, but if I use a very transparent paint over the metal and let the metal still show through, it creates depth. It’s a perceptual joy for me to be able to have those two things happen.” (Fazzolari, 2011)
Overall I found that Kim Anno’s exhibition at the University of Suffolk waterfront gallery was really interesting and her dedicated theme of nature was portrayed brilliantly through her use of natural colours and shown through the art works she chose to present for this particular show. There were multiple highlights for me at this exhibition, including number 4, ‘North by south (Fisherman)’, and number 7, ‘Venice’, I thought the colour of oil paints that she chose to use in her paintings really helped compliment the monochrome backgrounds. I always find that art work that is extremely different to what I create, tends to capture my eye more than work similar to my own, therefore Anno’s work is really intriguing to me and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her exhibition.