Ann Purcell - Marzipan, 1979 (detail)

Ann Purcell

July 16, 2013

An American artist, Ann Purcell works within tensions of paradox, ambiguity, duality and contradiction. She focuses on the working process, the painting itself, using it as a means of expression and exploration. Her practice spans paintings, collages, and works on paper, all characterized by the gestural and alive qualities.

Born in 1941 in Washington, Purcell studied independently in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and received her B.A. from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and George Washington University, Washington, D.C., going on to receive her M.A. in Liberal Studies from New York University in 1995. Metting the painter Gene Davis was a formative experience for her, who became her mentor and lifelong friend. Her visual language was largely influenced by the cutouts of Matisse and the art of Helen Frankenthaler and Mark Rothko.

Purcell also draws inspiration from dance and music, uniting associations and extrapolations and creating fluidity with a vast range of idioms. Throughout her career, she has always been experimenting and seeking new ways of making her experiences come viscerally to life.

Featured image: Ann Purcell - Marzipan, 1979 (detail). Acrylic and collage on canvas. 65 × 71 in. 165.1 × 180.3 cm. This is a unique work. Photo courtesy Berry Campbell Gallery