Anne Appleby “Hymn: First Light, Last Light”

Franklin Parrasch Gallery

poster for Anne Appleby “Hymn: First Light, Last Light”
[Image: Anne Appleby "Last Light (After the Rain)" (2019)]

This event has ended.

The heavy dark falls back to earth
And the freed air goes wild with light,
The heart fills with fresh, bright breath
And thoughts stir to give birth to colour.

– Matins, John O’Donohue

Franklin Parrasch Gallery presents its first exhibition of Jefferson City, Montana-based painter Anne Appleby. The show, entitled Hymn: First Light, Last Light, consists of eight works from the artist’s most recent series. Observing and responding to her secluded wilderness surroundings, Appleby distills her own perceptions of natural elements as they perpetually alter throughout their life cycles.

Acknowledging the activity of constant transition and impermanence in the natural world, Appleby articulates an impression of the quality of light (or lack thereof) in pre-dawn and post-dusk states. Reflecting upon an Ojibwa belief that certain souls wander in a pre-color state before they wander into the light, Appleby intuits the metaphorical impact of such a journey in these paintings, each of which depicts shifting tonal densities of grey built through numerous subtly visible chromatic layers. Exploring the mystery of chromatic perception, the artist’s surfaces, which often consist of up to 50 layers of oil and wax mediums, resonate with variation and depth.

As noted by Emily Stamey, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Wichita State University’s Ulrich Museum of Art:

“Appleby’s holistic attention to her physiological and psychological experiences in nature plays an equally important role in her process. Rather than work only empirically from what she sees, the artist allows subjective remembered experiences in the landscape to guide her. She describes the approach as “interior,” a practice that acknowledges her very personal relationship to nature.”

Born in Harrisburg, PA in 1954, Appleby studied at Philadelphia College of Art before relocating to Montana in 1971, subsequently earning her BFA at the University of Montana, Missoula, and eventually establishing a studio and residence in the sparsely populated community of Jefferson City. In addition to receiving her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1989, Appleby’s educational background includes a fifteen-year apprenticeship with Ojibwa artist and holy man Ed Barbeau, with whom she learned and refined processes of intense meditative awareness in nature. The tenor of Appleby’s work reflects the sensation of that observational practice and resides at the core of her philosophical approach to painting.

Appleby’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions at galleries and museums worldwide, including Mayor Gallery, London (2010); Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco (1993-2011); Villa e Collezione Panza, Varese (2007); and Borzo Gallery, Amsterdam (2016). Her works are held in the permanent collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY), Daimler Art Collection (Stuttgart/Berlin, DE), Denver Art Museum (CO), Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, WA), National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), the Panza Collection (Lugano, CH), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), and the Seattle Art Museum (WA), amongst others. A solo exhibition titled A Hymn for the Mother will take place in 2020 at the Missoula Art Museum (MT).



from October 25, 2019 to December 21, 2019


Anne Appleby

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