A curator, gallery owner/director, educator and arts advocate, Audrey Frank Anastasi is a prolific visual artist, working mainly in 2-dimensional mediums; painting, drawing, collage, mixed media, and printmaking. Much of Ms. Anastasi's work focuses on the human subject, with boldly painted faces and figures, revealing unspoken and suggested psychological narratives. In these works, she prefers working rapidly from direct observation. Since 1990, as part of her quest to discover and reveal what is most essential, her figurative paintings are painted with her non-dominant left hand. Additionally, Ms. Anastasi has created large bodies of work inspired by the natural worlds of birds, animals and birch trees.
She has an extensive history of 20 solo and approximately 200 group exhibitions. Her "ref-u-gee" series of forced-migration-themed artworks is scheduled for exhibition in 2019 at VMoA, Valentine Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY. The accompanying monograph with over 180 images will also be published at that time. Following two back to back solo exhibitions curated by Ivy Jones, from December 2017 through July 2018, Ms. Anastasi became immersed in a collage series which is scheduled to be exhibited at Welancora Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, in the May, 2019. In 2018, ten paintings were included in the well-received "Painting to Survive," exhibition, curated by Yale critic Jonathan Weinberg, focused on the overlooked, angst-driven figurative paintings created between 1985 and 1995, when AIDS was first decimating broad populations of young New Yorkers.
Among her public art installations on permanent display are a portrait of Jo Davidson (installed 2018) for the Trailside Museum and Zoo, Bear Mountain State Park, NY, and the Stations of the Cross (installed 2019) in the newly-renovated auditorium of Our Lady of Angels Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, NY.
Her work is in private and public collections, including the Valentine Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY, the Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute, Utica, New York, Museum Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil, Pfizer Corporation, NY, Avon Corporation, St. Vincent's Hospital Collection, NYC, and the Museum of Modern Art Photography Archives (for the end-paper drawings in the original limited edition photography book, Sirius Studies in collaboration with Thomas Roma.)
In 2016, a book of her "Stations of the Cross" was published by SPQR press, ISBN: 978-0-9975306-5-0. Her portrait of Otto Neals was used for the cover of BREUCKELEN magazine, with a feature interview. Other recent publications include interviews in ArtVoices, and Art Book Guy. Archives include National Museum of Women in the Arts Library, Washington, DC., the Brooklyn Museum Library, Brooklyn, NY, the White House Curator's Archives, Washington, DC., the Library of Congress, Washington, DC., and Cindy Nemser, “Audrey Frank Anastasi”, catalog of paintings, ISBN: 0-9650442-0-3.
Among my most recent works are collages, which were created first in the presence of a live model, working quickly, in charcoal and pastel, and again, later, alone in the studio, furiously tearing and pasting images from magazines, various language newspapers, print publications, and previous drawings. In this way, both in theme and technique, I am working with the intersection of disciplined control and randomized instinct. Observational drawing coexists with a myriad of selected patterns, colors, and images from media, assembled and pasted down like broad swaths of paint. The title of the series, "EnSamblage", is an invented word referring to both a musical ensemble of parts, and a visual assemblage of elements.
As a feminist artist, my first commitment is to painting other women, the human face, and figure. Whether working with figurative descriptions or with the abstract use of materials, I approach all my subjects directly and with abandon. Additionally, in my quest to discover and reveal what is most essential, the drawing aspect of these images is created with my non-dominant left hand.
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