Foxy Production, New York, NY
October 19, 2019 – November 17, 2019
Foxy Production is pleased to present “Cyclops,” Anna Glantz’s ﬁrst solo exhibition at the gallery. It comprises a new series of paintings that use autobiography to meditate on the act of painting and the role of the artist. Glantz has produced dream-like compositions disrupted by visual disjunctions and ﬂights of fancy. Recalling a range of visual styles and art historical references, including Renaissance ﬁguration and the early American portraiture of artists such as Ammi Phillips, the works push representation to its limits, abstracting and undermining the impulse for deﬁnition and closure.
For the artist, the Cyclops embodies a being with a singular perspective—Its one eye produces a ﬂattened view of the world, not unlike a representational painting. In both literal and symbolic ways, the Cyclops can represent the particular visual imagination of an artist. Physically, its emphatic, gaping eye heightens a sense of pathos and hints at a deep interiority.
Glantz constructs paintings using the most basic art historical subjects–landscape, self-portrait, sitter, and pets–as building blocks that are massaged into odd positions: scale is warped; facial features are disproportionate; multiple painting styles compete for space; characters gaze intensely at the viewer. These features together build an improbable visual ediﬁce that effuses a sense of existential disquiet.
Her ﬁgures, often rigid and centrally planted, are immobile, with something “object” about them. In a pastoral scene, a woman stands behind her animals—a cow, dog, and cat—that are oddly all the same size. In another painting, a huge woman resembling a Greek Kouros stands holding a puppy as if she were more stone than ﬂesh. Central characters are subverted, challenged, or undermined by other elements in the scenes they inhabit: a woman-child stares ahead forlornly in a room that appears as animate as she is; in proﬁle, a couple with protruding noses stare intensely at one another, while in the background, a woman, semi-clothed in denim, appears distorted like a glitch in a digital image.
In “Eyesore” (2019), the artist pictures herself in her studio with denim covering her head and framing her face, emphasizing her beaming, full-moon, red-tinged eyes. Although, on ﬁrst glance, it may appear to be one of the most realist works in the exhibition, its subtle visual discordances throughout produce an hallucinatory intensity, where the self-portrait is more a portal to the imaginary than a window to the soul.