Burning Down the Second House
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I paint from memory. I choose a place that I can recall in detail, like my parent's home in Ohio or my grandmother's farm in Indiana. I place everything as I remember it and render all the elements of the space up to the same level of detail, which allows me to include everything I want to remember about the room in one picture. I have discovered that combining minute detail with multiple viewpoints in the same flat surface results in a sort of folk-cubism, or maybe a skewed naturalism_ which is what those memories feel like. Living on the East Coast made me acutely aware of the aesthetics of my Midwestern upbringing. My experiences in New York and at Yale University cast my family's home and lifestyle in a different light; a pragmatic, mundane (and rather flat) sense of beauty, unburdened by high ideas or refinements of style. The combination of my earlier working class tastes and the later-acquired, intensely cosmopolitan awareness of style has shaped who I am as a painter. I am influenced by Grandma Moses and Horace Pippin, Stuart Davis and Matisse. As historical precedents, I draw on the work of other female artists like Florine Stettheimer, whose paintings also fall somewhere between sophisticated and provincial. While my paintings are rigorous in purely formal terms of design, shape, space and color, they are also just pictures of home_ kitchens, Catholic churches and farmhouses.
Ann Toebbe | See All Editions
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Ann Toebbe received her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1997. She earned an MFA in painting from Yale University and in 2000 had a Skowhegan residency. She has been the recipient of a Jacob Javits Fellowship in 2003, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship in 2005 and 2015, a Chicago Council for the Arts Grant in 2006, and in 2008 she was a West Prize Finalist. Her work has been shown in solo and group shows in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, London, and Chicago where she now lives.