MFA, concentration in Painting and Drawing, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 2017
B.S. in Art; B.A. in English with Emphasis in Creative Writing, 2012
Anna Wehrwein is an artist originally from the Boston area. She received her BS in Art and BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her MFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Tennessee, where she was the recipient of the Herman E. Spivey Graduate Fellowship. Her work has been featured in “New American Paintings,” “Friend of the Artist,” and “West Branch” literary journal. She was an artist-in-resident at Vermont Studio Center has exhibited nationally, including recent group shows at The Mint Museum and Blue Spiral Gallery and solo shows at Fluorescent Gallery and Apothecary Gallery.
Using drawing as a starting point, my paintings construct the act of looking as both active and communal. Contained within the picture plane, this gaze is intimate instead of performative, absorptive instead of scopophilic: a tool for self-reflexivity and self- imaging. In turn, the high chroma of the work—rich magentas, deep blues, acidic greens—radiates outward. The optics are both enticing and shifting, demanding attention but refusing a singular read: color as illusion, color as fantasy, color as both ground and figure. The figures themselves—women in versions domestic space—also shift and stir, alluding to yet eluding the limited aperture of both cinematic lens and painting precedent. These contemporary spaces of female action, agency, and audience are simultaneously idealistic and commonplace. At the heart of the work are the real relationships and community it depicts: artists and friends who use the domestic space as a site of creativity. It is a space in which beers are had, ideas are shared, tattoos are given, and paintings are made.