Seattle-based artist Anne Siems returns to David Lusk Gallery to kick off the new year. In January 2023, Siems will show SONS AND DAUGHTERS, a new body of work featuring tattooed figures centered around the growing children of friends and family who have all been deeply affected by social anxiety, mental health conditions, and self-defeating behavior.
Sons and Daughters
3 jan – 11 feb 2023
VIRTUAL TOUR: fr 6 jan, 12:30p
OPEN HOUSE: sa 14 jan, 12-3p
ARTIST TALK: sa 14 jan, 1p
Siems has been portraying tattooed figures for four years, inscribing bodies and faces with excerpts from poetry, mantras, imagery depicting rites of passage, and singular words to convey identity. Of these tattoos Siems says, “they are unapologetic and brave, political, even if not in a direct way. They are markers of the world we live in and this time that on so many levels feels right on the edge in many ways, both personal and general. They speak of shadow work, of exploring the dark sides of our psyche, but also of strength and hope.”
Siems’ time at David Lusk Gallery began with ethereal paintings of figures and animals immersed in early European and American landscapes. In recent years, she has removed the backgrounds of her childhood landscape – the woodlands of Germany – from her paintings. Instead she’s focused on patterned, colorful backgrounds that limit context and encourage reflection of the portraits’ subjects. Repeated shapes, slight tonal variation, and other details provide clues to the subject’s character and complements clothing and tattooed imagery.
Selection in thematic imagery and poetry comes to Siems instinctually. She says, “I’m not able to know these young adults’ true pain and difficulties, but it seemed urgent to portray them.” Most of the poetry is by Chelan Harkin and much-celebrated Mary Oliver. In this body of work, Siems employs watercolor and gouache to make much larger, full body images. The inherent immediate attention and technique required of these media parallels Siems’ instinctual emotional responses to depicting her tender subjects and portraying their struggles.
Anne Siems was born and raised in Berlin and lives and works in Seattle. She attended the University of the South in Tennessee under a Fulbright Scholarship and completed her MFA at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. Her work has been shown in a myriad of exhibitions in galleries and institutions in New York, Berlin, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Boston, Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles, among other cities. Her work can be found in collections spanning the globe, such has American Airlines, Seattle; The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock; Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID; Harry Connick, Jr; Hallmark Collection, Kansas City, MO; Kemper Museum for Contemporary Art & Design, Kansas City, MO; Lucy Liu; Microsoft, Redmond WA; Nestle USA, Glendale, CA; Nordstrom Corporation Stores, Seattle; and Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, among others.
David Lusk Gallery is located at 97 Tillman Street in Memphis. Gallery hours are Tu-Sa, 10-5