Elise Ansel
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 9, 6-8 pm
February 10 – March 11, 2017

In the more than 150 years since J.M.W. Turner’s death, abstraction has been studied, redacted, reviled, and reborn as an exhaustive condition of Modernism. With abandon and remarkable vision, American post-war artists pursued the almost infinite possibilities of abstraction. Beginning with abstract expressionism in the mid-forties, America’s position as the center of the art world remained virtually unchallenged until the latter part of the 20th C and the emergence of contemporary art as a dynamic international pursuit. But within the context of broadly based invention and aesthetic freedom, abstract expressionism continues to thrive as a source of visual and emotional discovery. In that sense, Elise Ansel has become a descendant of two generations of Abstract Expressionism; America’s aesthetic golden moment.

Ansel converts historical masterpieces: the early and high Italian and Northern Renaissance, the Baroque, Neoclassicism, French, German and English Romanticism, transforming the visual language of art historical achievement into a fresh iteration of Abstract Expressionist sensibility. Her physically charged paintings, at once forceful and lyrical, recapture the spontaneity of Franz Kline, the vivid palette of de Kooning and Richter, the intense often disquieting visual poetry of Joan Mitchell and Frank Auerbach.

Born in New York City, Elise Ansel received her BA from Brown University and her MFA from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. In 2016, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art presented Distant Mirrors, an exhibition of her paintings and drawings. Ansel has exhibited widely in the United States and England. Her work is in the permanent collections of Brown University, Bowdoin College, the Eli Lilly Foundation and Sopwell House, St. Albans. Elise Ansel lives and works in Portland, Maine.