The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Missoula Art Museum exhibits new works by Anne Appleby
Anne Appleby, The Forest, 2021, oil on canvas, photo courtesy Slikati Photography, copyright the artist.

MISSOULA, MONT.- Montana artist Anne Appleby is well-known for her muted color-field paintings that offer an abstract take on the natural world. Recently, Appleby has embarked on a new stage of her career to incorporate more representational imagery of the environment. The exhibit, A Hymn for the Mother, embodies this radical shift and opened at the Missoula Art Museum Friday, August 6.

Anne Appleby lives outside Jefferson City, Mont., and draws upon her surroundings in the Elkhorn Mountains to inform her work. A Hymn for the Mother represents a pivotal point in her artistic direction as she explores more traditional and romantic landscapes as opposed to distillations of pure color. According to Appleby, the idea of a hymn, or an expression of reverence, will continue to inform her future work.

“The exhibit punctuates an important time in Anne’s career and gives her proper due as a significant contemporary painter with a mature, informed voice commenting on the state of the world as she sees it,” said Laura Millin, executive director at MAM.“ Anne is a Montana artist with an international following, and we are especially proud to present her work at MAM, which has been deeply invested in her work for decades,” said Millin.

This large-scale installation, A Hymn for the Mother, reimagines the artist’s practice. In this exhibition she combines her gridded color works with greyscale narrative paintings, a photograph, a video, and a sculpture—all of which are responses to the current disaster of global climate change. The exhibition includes collaborations with filmmaker Christopher Beaver and ceramist Kim West.

Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Appleby earned a BFA at the University of Montana in 1977 and an MFA in 1989 from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her paintings are in the permanent collections of the Albright-Knox Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Denver Museum of Art, the Museo d’ARTE Moderna e Contemporea in Rome, and many other public and private institutions. A Hymn for the Mother is Appleby’s third major exhibition at MAM, following Here We Are in 2009 and Anne Appleby and Wes Mills in 2000. Appleby is represented by Franklin Parrasch Gallery in New York and Parrasch Heijnen Gallery in Los Angeles.

MAM is publishing a catalog in conjunction with this exhibit entitled Hymn. It features essays by art critic Tyler Green, curator and art historian Grace Kook-Anderson, and art critic John Yau, as well as commentary from the artist and MAM’s senior curator Brandon Reintjes. This publication will be the first major catalog of her work and will be available for purchase in September. Catalog support comes from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Tinworks Art, the Franklin Parrasch Gallery, and the Parrasch Heijnen Gallery.

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