ANNA CYPRA OLIVER: "LEAF COLOR, PETAL SHAPE"
JULY 5 - JULY 28, 2019
OPENING RECEPTION: SATURDAY, JULY 6, 3-6PM
Shadow and light, shape and intense, glorious color are the elements that attract Anna Cypra Oliver to a subject more than whatever the actual subject might be. She is a writer as well as a painter and, in both mediums, is drawn to close observation of people and things. She looks, as much as possible, for the telling detail: one scene attracted her as a painter because she could see a minute shard of blue sky reflected in a cocktail glass on a small table. She has painted flowers, groupings of chairs, beach towels hanging on a wall, a ketchup bottle on a table in a New York City diner, a room caught in the shiny stainless steel hood of a table lamp, portraits – whatever arrangement of shapes and color draws her eye.
A lot of contemporary art is based on the premise of simplification, abstracting the real by minimizing its cacophony of detail. Oliver admires that approach but finds herself unable to emulate it; her instinct is always to add more into her paintings: more lines, more shapes, more detail and complexity. Always, she is trying to look harder, see more and then have the patience to put what she sees onto the canvas.
Anna Cypra Oliver’s paintings have appeared along with her published essays and on the cover of The Best American Poetry 2017. Her memoir, Assembling My Father, (Houghton Mifflin/Mariner Books), layers text, multiple strands of narrative and images in a kind of literary collage.