Briefly describe the work you do.
I am a painter and printmaker and also make site-specific installations in response to archived collections. My work often begins with a grid. I find pattern and geometry everywhere — in the bilateral symmetry of a bird; light falling through Venetian blinds; or the cast matrix of a manhole cover. Grids give me a jumping off point — a scaffold on which to build an image or a series of works — or a structure to work against.
Although I trained as a printmaker at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, I hadn’t made prints since art school. After moving to London in 2012, I returned to my printmaking roots, using print to create variations rather than editions. I printed the Edible Colour monoprints at the Thames Barrier Print Studio in 2013, from scored and perforated laser-cut plastic plates.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
I grew up in Ossining, NY. My parents ran a bookstore before the advent of the large book chains. As a teenager, I worked there and helped build shelving when the shop expanded to larger premises. The family joke when we brought home a newly arrived art book was whether we should “accidentally” spill red wine or coffee on it and be forced to keep it at home. My work with archives originates in this personal history. My evolving Shelf Life Project is comprised of intimately scaled painted and printed panels, displayed on minimal white shelves. The panels’ imagery derives from artifacts in the collection of each exhibition venue.Shelf Life has been exhibited in library, museum and university settings in the US.
My first project with a UK archive, Anne Krinsky: From Absorb to Zoom / An Alphabet of Actions in the Women’s Art Library, will be installed at two locations on the campus of Goldsmiths University of London in March 2015. The archive, started in the late 1970’s as an artist-led initiative to enhance public knowledge of the practice, impact and achievement of women in the visual arts, houses unique documentation of women artists’ works. My digital print installation takes inspiration from archived slides, artists’ books, magazines, monographs and posters in the collection. The project is funded by Arts Council England, the Thames Barrier Print Studio and a successful Kickstarter campaign that generated donations from around the world.
The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
Recently my practice has become more project and research-based and a good portion of my time now consists of gathering visual information through travel, photography or archival research, all outside of the studio. For example, in 2014, I received an Artists International Development Fund Grant from Arts Council England and the British Council to research traditional textiles in India. I traveled to Delhi for a residency at the Sanskriti Foundation and to Jaipur for block-printing workshops. I made the Phulkari series of acrylics on sturdy Indian papers in response to Phulkari embroideries from the Punjab I had seen in the collection of the Delhi Craft Museum.
What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
Although my work is mostly abstract, there is a narrative element to the artworks I make. Through my work with archives, I am reflecting on and interpreting various histories — of cultural artifacts and of their creators. In my project with the Women’s Art Library, I am working with documentation that intersects with my own experience — telling both my story and a parallel narrative of the larger community of women artists.
In tandem with From Absorb to Zoom / An Alphabet of Actions in the Women’s Art Library, I have invited selected artists with documentation in the Women’s Art Library to send me images of recent work to post on The Virtual Archive on the project blog:
I also have written on the visual arts for The Wall Street Journal Europe and Art New England.
When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?
So much depends on the physical circumstances and the work I am making. I usually try to swim or walk before I get to the studio. I now have a long commute, whereas my previous studio was in my home. I generally arrive in late morning and work through the afternoon, usually four days a week. I try to spend two other days at home on the business aspects of being an artist. At the moment, my current project involves digital print and blogging, and I am slogging away on the computer every day.
How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?
Perhaps in response to a geographical move and the contingent necessity to “reinvent” oneself, I am experimenting with new ways of working, ranging from making monoprints on the etching press to working with digital print for the first time. It’s exciting to translate a longstanding visual vocabulary into new contexts. In the process of creating funded projects in the UK, I am focusing more on public engagement and building an audience.
Until this year, I have created artworks in a physical and tactile way. Designing images on the computer and printing them out, as I am doing for my current project, is a huge departure from previous practice. I have been surprised to discover how lush, and almost painterly, the surface of a digital print can be and the way in which it can convey the layered history of its making.
Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?
I have been influenced by many artists, including Dorothea Rockburne, Brice Marden and Jennifer Bartlett. Anne Truit’s diaries were inspiring as were her painted sculptures. Since moving to London, I belatedly have discovered the work of Tess Jaray.
Artist friends and collectors, who have sustained my practice over the years, again showed their support by backing my recent Kickstarter campaign for my Women’s Art Library project.
If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?
In my next life I would be a musician.
Anne Krinsky is a London-based painter and printmaker who creates site-specific installations in response to archived collections. Her previous installations with archives have been exhibited in library, museum and university settings in the US, most recently in her 2013 solo show, Anne Krinsky: Reconfigurations, at The Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, MA.
Anne Krinsky: From Absorb to Zoom / An Alphabet of Actions in the Women’s Art Library, is her first installation with a UK archive. It is a digital print installation with content derived from materials in the Women’s Art Library at Goldsmiths University of London. The show will be installed at two Goldsmiths locations from March 2 through 30, 2015.
Krinsky’s work is in many collections, including the British Museum, the Boston Public Library, the Graham Gund collection and the U.K. charity, Paintings in Hospitals. She is represented in Boston by Soprafina Gallery. In 2010, Krinsky was the Goetemann Artist-in-Residence at the Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester, MA. She also has had residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Millay Colony, Sanskriti Foundation, Delhi, India; Fundacion Valparaiso, Spain; and Brisons Veor, England.
Since moving to London in 2012, Krinsky has been awarded a Grant for the Arts from Arts Council England and an Artists International Development Fund Grant from the British Council and Arts Council England.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.