The Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts recently opened a new exhibition in its Chan Gallery. “Abstractions” by Anne Marchand features bold, colorful, large-scale abstract paintings by the Washington, D.C., artist, whose style can be described as blending abstraction with astronomical influences.
Marchand was born in New Orleans, and she said that growing up in such a colorful environment left a lasting impression on her color sensibility. Traveling widely throughout the South had a similarly profound effect on her developing a visual vocabulary of form and color derived from nature.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in art from Auburn University in 1971 and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia in 1975. She has lived and worked in Washington since the late ’70s.
Her vibrant paintings are alive with shifting space, moving color and animated lines, according to a press release from the Hardin Center. They reflect a range of perspectives: images of deep space, views from airplanes and automobiles, perceptions of natural and manmade textures and patterns, along with their emotional resonances, all distilled together.
Circular imagery made its way into her work after she saw images of planets from the Hubble telescope. The nebulas and galaxies suggested biological structures, and Marchand realized the connection between space and the body as manifestations of the same universal energy. Her paintings capture a sense of wonder, introspection and imagination.
“Space, color and mystery are calling cards to begin the work of layering materials on canvas,” said Marchand in the press release. “Moving with both conscious and spontaneous actions, I combine themes of spirit and matter. My choice of materials conveys transparent layers and depth of meaning reflecting the mysteries of creation and destruction. The painting process is metaphor for patterns emerging in nature and from invisible forces. I am drawn to images that open the viewer…
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