Anna Mezebish

Artist Statement

I am an American artist who specializes in mark making using paint, chalk, and charcoal on canvas. I typically use muted palettes created by black and white paints on untreated raw canvas. I trace circular objects, such as plastic cups or rolls of tape, which result in central geometrical forms consisting of circles and arches that retain a bodily mapping of my application. Gaps, offset, overlay, and other discrepancies are important elements of my practice.

With the Circle series I am using 20 by 24 inch stretcher bars and over these, hand stretching light to medium weight cotton duct canvas. This process is important to my work because I need to be completely in charge of the material of these paintings.

I work within the tradition of abstract formalism. Abstraction is defined by its distance from recognition in the observer. Despite abstraction being defined by what it does not represent, it is also integrally connected to association. Viewers of abstract art cannot understand what they are viewing, but it is nearly impossible to not form connections to other things one has seen or experienced. An interesting discord occurs when a viewer experiences an artwork completely new and without figuration, yet has a phantom memory associated with elements of the piece. My work evokes these feelings of personal association without any element of the work being based in representation.

I am interested in taking my work in a world-building direction. By this I mean that these objects exist in the world of my practice, and can include and be defined by self-referential motifs, consistent color palettes, pattern, composition, and style. My paintings refer to their own objectness. The paintings are unprimed and use short lasting materials such as chalk to subvert some of the traditional ideas of painting. I am interested in the tethering of importance to objects, and interrupting that tether through the presence of the artist shown in the work, thus parodying and challenging traditional convention. Metaphorically, I am rounding rigid confines of past traditions by implementing them in a somewhat subversive way.