Gabrielle Anderman’s paintings and related interpretive sculptures channel feminine energy in evocative forms that are both visceral and ethereal, cosmic and confrontational. Her intense palettes and the eccentric anatomies in her drawing style animate her emblematic figures and primordial abstract landscape backdrops with roiling emotions. While not strictly speaking autobiographical, all of this raw energy, symbolism, body torque, and extreme psyche is derived from the very real pain and joy of existing as a woman in this time and place and indeed across history. Her accompanying soft sculptures tease out the strangeness of the figures, embodying in approachable dimensionality the whirlwind of shadows and ciphers that misogyny is reaping.
L.A. WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?
GABRIELLE ANDERMAN: As soon as I figured out how to hold a crayon!
What is your short answer to people who ask what your work is about?
A messy exploration of transformation, the experience of being a woman, and the unknown.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
Good question. I’m obsessed with self-expression as a practice. I’m in both an improv comedy troupe and a writing group, so I’d probably be acting or writing.
Did you go to art school? Why/Why not?
Yes. I graduated from UCLA’s School of the Arts. I’d taken art classes from the time I was little but wanted to study with trained professors and working artists. I wanted to be in the studio all day, every day — to master perspective, composition & color theory, to know all the rules so I’d know how to break them.
When was your first show?
I was 29 and had recently moved to L.A. from New York. I was part of a group of artists that met every week to paint. None of us had a gallery so we decided to have a renegade show in an empty building near LACMA. I sold my first 2 paintings at that show.
When is/was your current/most recent/next show or project?
My most recent solo show in L.A., Reparable Arm, just closed last week at TAG Gallery.
What artist living or dead would you most like to show or work with?
Oh wow, there are so many! But, if I had to pick one, I’d say Hilma Af Klint. I love her work, but I also love who she was. She was interested in so many of the things that inspire me like spirituality, death and the unknown. There’s a quote of hers where she described her paintings as being created directly through her without having any preconception of what the final product would be. That resonates with me because I paint the same way.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what?
I don’t! I stopped when I realized that the music was influencing my work. I strive to tap into subtle energies inside and out and when music is playing in the studio, it overshadows them. So, when I’d be playing sad music, my work would get darker and with upbeat music my work would go wild. It was fun but it was like I was painting the music instead of my own expression.
Website and social media handles, please!
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