It is with great pleasure that The Commercial presents the first solo exhibition by Anna Kristensen at the gallery. Cover sees some of Kristensen’s most ambitious photorealistic paintings to date brought into complex formal and conceptual relations with objects that develop themes of opacity, transparency, glazing and light, the conditions of optics and oil painting. Kristensen’s laborious commitment to the illusionistic potential of paint compresses a desire towards trompe l’oeil pleasures with the no-more-empty yet value-reduced ubiquity of today’s smartphone and internet snaps. In Cover, Kristensen renders the estranging domestic outdoors of an Airbnb accommodation, the majestic yet dilapidated structures defining a threshold between the space of the viewer and the vacant lot of pictorial space, and a detail of hallowed light projected onto a receding grid of terracotta tiles. Each painting a meditative space suffused with light and melancholy, each sculpture (indebted to Minimalism) actually, seemingly or ironically functional (furniture, appliances).
Anna Kristensen (b. 1983) works primarily in painting, exploring the contested ground between painting, photography and objective space. Architecture and geology have been recurrent themes in her early career. She constructs formal constellations in her exhibitions that often combine painting and sculpture with various techniques of photo-reproduction (e.g. screen-printing, lenticular prints). She has executed a number of commissioned large-scale wall paintings.
In 2013, Kristensen undertook two residencies in the US: The Australia Council for the Arts’ Greene Street Studio in New York and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha. She was awarded a Master of Fine Arts (Research) by the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney in 2009. In 2007, she was a visiting student at the Universität der Künste, Berlin (class of Anette Haas). She is currently a part-time lecturer at UNSW Art & Design.
Kristensen has presented solo exhibitions for over a decade in regional and commercial galleries and artist-run-initiatives in Australia and Berlin as well as participating in group exhibitions in Australia, Italy, Singapore and the US. Solo commercial exhibitions in Australia include Gallery 9, Sydney (2014, 2011, 2008), Kalimanrawlins Gallery, Melbourne (2011).
In 2011, Kristensen first exhibited her major early work, Indian Chamber, an in-the-round panoramic oil painting of the Jenolan Caves that was two years in production. Indian Chamber has been exhibited extensively in regional galleries in Australia.
Group exhibitions include Antipodean Inquiry, curated by Owen Craven, Yavuz Gallery, Singapore (2016); Solid State, curated by Michael Do, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney (2015); OBJECT LESSONS II: Curtain Situations, curated by Gemma Weston, Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia, Perth (2015); Right here right now, curated by Michael Do, Penrith Regional Gallery, Sydney (2015); Picture Perfect, curated by Fantom Editions, Viasaterna, Milan (2015); Seven Points (part one): Marley Dawson, Anna Kristensen, Angelica Mesiti, curated by Bree Pickering, Embassy of Australia Gallery, Washington DC (2013); Bellowing Echoes, curated by Marcel Cooper and Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris, Next Wave Festival, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (2012); Hatched: National Graduate Show, curated by Leigh Robb, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth (2006).
Anna Kristensen’s work is in the collection of Artbank, the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, the University of Western Australia, Shepparton Art Museum and Wollongong City Gallery.; the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.