BOTH SIDES OF THE SKY
Opening Reception: June 5, 2019 from 6 to 9 pm
A+E Studios, 160 West Broadway, NYC
A+E Studios is pleased to present, Both Sides of the Sky, a solo exhibition of paintings by Annie Shinn. Throughout her career Shinn has engaged in painting through the lens of abstract landscapes; shifting aesthetics of her work in an ongoing investigation of perspective. In her latest series, Shinn continues to expound on this theme but breaks away from her previous practice of abstract oil painting by experimenting with dye: a challenging, yet creative process that has developed into an almost ritualistic method of building layer upon layer with paint and deconstructing these layers by dying the canvas again and again. The dyed and painted canvases evolve into colorful, ethereal worlds with no clear up or down, left or right. Each piece invites movement across and around it. Striations radiate from multiple horizon lines like topographical cross sections or horizonless landscapes.
Shinn’s use of dye started off as a recreational diversion from her more formal practice. After long days in the studio she would unwind by taking spare t-shirts and sweatshirts and experimenting with dye patterns, soon finding that the process offered her a chance to be expressive in a new way. Shinn explained, “I have an idea of what kind of pattern I’m creating when I use the dye, but I don’t know precisely how much pigment will saturate throughout the folds of the canvas. My previous landscapes are fairly planned out, I have control of every brushstroke. They’re still intuitive, but I generally know where they’re going. This new process is a different kind of freedom.” Shinn’s nuanced understanding of color accounts for and embraces the unavoidable contingencies that come with working with such a mercurial medium as dye. The spontaneous working process has given way to an expanded vocabulary of visual motifs in the articulation of natural abstraction.