Five Women Artists
at Art on Paper
March 5 – 8, 2020
Elise Ansel’s work references historical masterpieces, transforming their visual language 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.
For Ansel, the act of painting represents an alternative way of seeing, allowing her to engage in an intimate dialogue with her source and to comprehend it on a more profound level. By translating her discoveries of spiritual intentions, psychological and emotional impact into abstraction, Ansel’s paintings succeed in capturing glimpses of the original content. As a result, her works not only serve as a point of departure from the Old Master context, but also as a celebration of [its] values, knowledge and techniques….[Buhmann, Stephanie, 2018.]
Born in New York City, Elise Ansel received her BA from Brown University and her MFA from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Ansel was included in the 2018 Portland Biennial, and featured in an exhibition at the David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University this past summer. 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 Museum of Contemporary Art Kraków, MOCAK, Poland, the Eli Lilly Foundation and Sopwell House, St. Albans. Elise Ansel lives and works in Portland, Maine.
The drawings and paintings of Dozier Bell are at once deep evocations of natural environments culled from memory and experience past, and reflections of a life of philosophical inquiry and keen observation that merge in her work as marvels of virtuosity and poignant imagery.
Bell’s intimate, diminutive charcoal drawings bring to mind 19th-century American painters Albert Pinkham Ryder, R. A. Blakelock, Frederick Church, as well as England’s John Constable. Exacting and deliberate, often mysterious impressions of nature's disquieting, transitory presence, her works comprise a vision of nature that sweeps across vast plains and valleys, ascends into lofty skies, and reaches toward far distant horizons,…[Carl Belz, 2014]. As Bell has remarked: “Infinitely complex, at once undefended and harsh, welcoming and seemingly impenetrable, this forested, watery place continually shows me the inescapable vulnerability and unknowable forces that inform it, and by extension, us.
Dozier Bell was born in Maine. She graduated magna cum laude from Smith College in 1981 and received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. In addition to her Fulbright Fellowship, Bell has received Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants in 2003 and 1993, a grant from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation in 2009, residencies at both the MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME, and in 2014, a Purchase Prize award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York. She lives and works in Waldoboro, ME.
Over the years, Emily Eveleth has insistently pursued the ironic and expressive potential of her signature image, the ordinary and ubiquitous jelly doughnut. In the process, she invests her subject with unexpected presence and identity, ranging from the literal to the abstract, from the dramatic to the contemplative – expressing vulnerability, sensuality and humor. The doughnuts function simultaneously as still life, landscape, portrait and anthropomorphized objects of “projected desire,’ eroticism, and in many instances, explicit sexuality. [Raphaela Platow, 2006].
Emily Eveleth was born in Connecticut in 1960. She received an undergraduate degree from Smith College and pursued graduate studies at the Massachusetts College of Art. Her work is included in prominent museum, corporate and private collections. Among other awards, she was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Painting, a French Government Grant for the Artist-in-Residency Program in Rochefort-en-Terre, and a visiting artist residency at the American Academy in Rome. She currently lives and works in Massachusetts.
Melissa Meyer is a lyrical abstractionist. She paints free-floating, painterly ribbons of vibrant colors and shapes. She draws with paint. Lance Esplund has described her work as having a “fusion of line and ground…creating an interplay in which linear movements become special arabesques. …dancing, knotted webs of bright color and line, struggle between openness and restraint, air and solid. Their imminent frontality is buoyant and percussive, somewhere between a wall of water and a wall of fire.”
Meyer was born New York in 1946, and received both a BS and an MA from New York University. Her lengthy exhibition history includes solo exhibitions at Lennon, Weinberg, Inc., New York; Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York; Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, Ohio; Holly Solomon Gallery, New York and Galerie Renee Ziegler, Zurich, Switzerland.
Meyer has completed public commissions in New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Bishkek US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan. Her work is included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Jewish Museum and many other public and private collections across the United States. Meyer was awarded a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pollock Krasner Foundation and a fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation. She is a frequent artist in residence at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York as well as at the Vermont Studio Center.
Rachel Rickert is a contemporary painter working in Brooklyn, depicts figures engaged in domestic rituals within intimate spaces. In her most recent body of work, the figures are frozen in moments of transition – dressing, showering, waking…
In describing one of her paintings, Soft Boundaries, Larissa Pham states, “Rickert’s twenty-first-century bather is in the act of exposing her body—the eye lingers on the planes of her torso, rendered in confident strokes, where light breaks across her form. In Rickert’s depiction, there’s the feminist independence of Cassatt and the physicality of Toulouse-Lautrec; the open sensuality of Hashiguchi Goyo and the emotional coloring of Bonnard….
Rickert received her MFA from the New York Studio School in 2015, and her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2012. In 2019, she was selected for the James Castle House Artist-in-Residency in Boise, ID, and in 2017 she was selected by Irving Sandler, Robert Storr, and Walter Robinson to receive the Mercedes Matter/ Ambassador Middendorf Award, at New York Studio School. That same year, she also received the James O’Brian Award for her work in the 60th Chautauqua Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art: 60 Works Celebrating 60 Years.