PAGE (NYC), New York, NY
September 22, 2018 – November 1, 2018
In June, I moved my studio to a storefront down the street from my apartment in Queens. The dimensions are nearly identical to PAGE’s 5th floor gallery, but the bustle from the street and nearby bodegas is a few feet away. It took me a while to get used to this semi-public workspace. The paintings for this show are the first made in the studio, and I have unwittingly arranged the figures like mannequins in a shop window. Pressed up against the picture plane in shallow, condensed spaces, they pivot toward the viewer, but stare beyond us either in boredom or deep concentration—they’ve been tasked with safeguarding a delicate equilibrium in the composition. One of the figures wears a coat by Sonia Delaunay, a scrappy patchwork of satin and velvet that reminds me of a harlequin’s outfit. While making these paintings, I thought of the figures as performers—Pierrot in particular, who is the naïve and innocent counterpart to Harlequin, perched on the moon. I also thought of young Myshkin: the defenseless, childlike protagonist of Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot. Both characters share an intense vulnerability that I try to depict in the work. When making a painting, I search for an image that is surprising in its peculiarity or heavy in affect—the process involves no clear path and requires a certain amount of faith. I’m a little bit like Pierrot or Myshkin in the studio—my heart is open to the world and the future is uncertain.
—Anna Glantz, September 2018