Ann Craven lives and works in New York City.
Craven’s most recent exhibition Hello, Hello, Hello (January 21 – March 5, 2016) at Maccarone, New York, surveyed three of Craven’s habitual subjects: birds, stripes (of her unused mixed color) and the moon.
Craven is well-known for her bold portraits of the moon, birds and flowers, as well as bands of color called Stripe or Band Paintings. Craven says, ” My paintings are a result of mere observation, experiment and chance and contain a variable that’s constant and ever-changing — the moment just past. The stripes are so I can see what I just mixed. The mixing process is a very unconscious progression and so the stripes are a way to list the colors that I just painted. It is a memory and a documentation of the work at the same time.”
Craven recently began exhibiting her extensive series of Untitled (Palettes) - ranging from 1999 to present. She mixes her color directly onto light-duty pre-stretched canvases, meanwhile considering storing for future research and color matching. “The Palettes are my indexed color inventory. They are a way for me to hold on to what I just painted – a Moon or flower or bird. I sometimes tag the top of the palettes with a quick drawing of what I just painted. I always date and title the palettes the same as the paintings that they came from. After that the paint is physically useless. The abstraction in the palettes and stripes informs the figuration in my work, and vice versa, and further brackets how do they work together, in the context of how my exhibitions are conceived and installed.”
Craven has been making paintings of the Moon since 1996. The simple, continuous subject matter reveal an interest in minimalist painting.
The small oil paintings are sketched from life and are intended to be scaled up into larger works, while their economic execution and visible brushstrokes reveal an intimate side to her practice.
Her large-scale paintings whose bold simplicity and seriality is sometimes seen as precursors to a film strip or a music score.
Craven recently had her first retrospective, titled TIME, curated by Yann Chevalier at Le Confort Moderne in Poitiers (France) in 2014. In conjunction with this exhibition, Le Confort Moderne will publish TIME, a catalogue edited and designed by Manon Lutanie to be released in December 2015.
Her recent solo exhibitions include UNTITLED (PALETTES: NAKED, TAGGED), 2013-14 at Southard Reid Gallery in London in 2015; ANN CRAVEN at Hannah Hoffman in Los Angeles in 2014, and ANN CRAVEN at Maccarone in New York in 2013.
Karma Books and Maccarone, Inc published in 2013: Ann Craven: Pensée, an artist book comprehending the entire watercolor series of ninety-two pansies painted by Craven between 2007-2008, while in residence at the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne in Reims France.
Her work has been exhibited internationally and reviewed in publications including The New York Times, Modern Painters, Art News, LA Times, Art in America, Artforum, Flash Art, The New Yorker, Frieze, among others.
Ann Craven’s paintings are in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Whitney, The New Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, among others.
image: Ann Craven Studio Harlem, March 3, 2006