Lot 47 - Elise Ansel - Van Aelst Detail
Lot 47 - Elise Ansel - Van Aelst Detail

Lot 47 - Elise Ansel - Van Aelst Detail

Watercolour on Paper
A6 (10x15cm) original artwork
Signed on verso

Elise Ansel was born and raised in New York City. She currently lives in Portland, Maine. Ansel received a BA in Comparative Literature from Brown University in 1984. While at Brown, she studied art at both Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design. She worked briefly in the film industry before deciding to make painting her first order medium. 


Ansel has exhibited her work throughout the United States and in London. Her works are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and the Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences. She is represented by Cadogan Contemporary in London and Miles McEnery Gallery in New York City. Brown University 2018 Joan Mitchell Award Nominee Cadogan Contemporary in London and Miles McEnery Gallery in New York City 

About the postcard artworks:

The artworks I submitted to AOAP spring from details excavated from iconic Old Master paintings. Two are from Michelangelo’s Libyan Sibyl which is on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, one is from Giovanni Bellini’s San Zaccaria Altarpiece, 1505 in Venice and one is cropped from Still Life with Flowers on a Marble Ledge, 1652 life by Willem Van Aelst. I create by translating Old Master paintings into a contemporary pictorial language. Using an idiom of energetic gestural abstraction, I mine art historical imagery for color and narrative structure. I use abstraction to interrupt representational content in order to excavate and transform meanings and messages embedded in the works from which my paintings spring. I examine the impact of authorial agency and address the myriad subtle ways the gender, identity and belief systems of the artist are reflected in the art. Old Master paintings were, for the most part, created by white men for white men. Abstraction allows me to interrupt this one sided narrative and transform it into sensually capacious non-narrative form of visual communication that embraces multiple points of view. To be clear, my modus operandi uses the past as a springboard for something new, not to destroy the past but to build on it, to reconstitute what’s problematic and to celebrate what’s beautiful, to radically reinvent historical art through my own perspective, in my own language, for my own time. My collages and paintings are not critiques of the Old Masters but rather a vehicle for shining a light on imbalances existent today. In this, the Old Masters/Mistresses are my powerful allies.