Friday, September 09, 2016

"Fluidity" review by Christopher Cudworth:

Ana Zanic watercolors elevate and expand the mind

Zanic swoop 
Occasionally I see the work of another artist and feel compelled to tell the world about it. And while Ana Zanic of Geneva is doing quite well for herself with paintings now featured in shows that include galleries in Chicago, New York, Denver and Baton Rouge, that does not mean one cannot add to the discussion.
I first met Ana Zanic back in 2013 when she was working as a Resident Artist at Water Street Studios in Batavia. Our family purchased one of her paintings and it hangs in my home to this day. Her recent show Fluidity being show at the Fermi National Accelerator gallery is an expansion on all that she is doing with her watercolors. The work is on display in the second-floor gallery of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory through September 16.
Fluidity demonstrates why Zanic’s work is drawing so much national attention.Her paintings range from the intimate in size to the ultimate in spatial expression with watercolors. Grouped under categories such as Origins, Nebula and Arcadia, each passage suggests a thought process. Yet there are no confining qualities to her work that limit the viewer’s ability to explore and use their own imagination.
Her largest works in the show are stunning in size. Encountering watercolor paintings that stand taller than a human being is uncommon in this world. But that is the point. Her six-foot tall watercolors force one to stand back for a wider look yet draw the viewer close to see what else is going on within these organic forms.
Zanic must either possess a very broad brush or is able to sweep the flow of a watercolor glaze using other means. Her large paintings consist of washes fully one foot across that are drawn in washes similar in form to a Mobius strip. Infinity thus exists on paper. She uses this format to create space and then enhance it with wet-in-wet methods that suggest landscape or plant forms, woods or valleys.

      Zanic watercolor.jpg 

Suggestively, these same shapes could well be the processes that invented and expanded the universe, and from within these massive forms come Zanic’s textural commentaries. Tiny drawn figures seem to vacillate between material forms and energy. Sometimes they appear to be forests emerging from the earth. At other times, they seem to convey a population of thoughts or recollections. This is what makes her work so pleasing, accessible and yet mysterious at the same time. To complete this journey from thought to form, she has also created a series of pottery pieces that bear the same conversational inscriptions.
Work like this enables viewers to get lost in very personal worlds of visual appeal and contemplation of the process that led to its creation. The title of the show Fluidity could be taken as a literal comment about a watercolor show. Yet there’s more to it than that, because every watercolorist knows that creating paintings is a process of both anticipation and happy mistakes. Every inch of surface becomes its own palette when watercolor flows across the surface. This becomes a conversation and some points even an intellectual argument in which delicacy and force of will are in constant engagement. The drips, runs and expansions all play a role in this universe created by a watercolor goddess.
Her special command of materials is best demonstrated in her ability to create tension and excitement through use of edges, which Zanic employs in work to define positive and negative shapes. In between she celebrates gauzy wonderment in the wet and marvelous world of water, pigment and paper.
Her works in the Origin series bear suggestions of geology or topography. Yet they could just as easily be considered in the context of space and time. One wonders if the physicists at Fermi have been wandering through this show considering the subatomic worlds they explore, which could very well be similar to the world of watercolor and the paintings of Ana Zanic.

  Zanic watercolor too.jpg 

It is high time that all of us come to grips with the fact that the world is not a “paint by number” place. Physics and evolution demand that knowledge. We also now know there is space between all matter, and dark matter beyond that. We even have the ability to shoot neutrinos through the earth.  As it turns out, the pigment of our vision exists as much by force of imagination as it does in reality.
And Ana Zanic paints that space between. That is how (and why) the watercolors of Ana Zanic call us to consideration of all that we see. It may well be more realistic to depict the world in abstract terms than it is to attempt a direct copy of it. In this regard, the setting for the show Fluidity at Fermilab is perfect. It stands to expand your concept of the world and what you see around you.
The Fermilab Art Gallery is on the second floor of Wilson Hall. It is free and open to the public Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sign in a the Wilson Hall atrium reception desk. The show will be displayed through September 16.

*Images courtesy of Christopher Cudworth

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

solo exhibit 
Fermilab Art Gallery
July 20-Sept.16

Here are some images of my current solo exhibition at Fermilab. I love this vast open space of the Wilson Hall. Such an honor to have my work here!

* photos - courtesy of Georgia Schwender and William North

Thursday, July 21, 2016

"Fluidity" gets on the front page of the Chicago Gallery News

I was so happy yesterday when I saw the announcement for my exhibition was on the main page of Chicago Gallery News!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Solo Exhibition 
July 20-September 16, 2016

Yesterday was a 9:30am-8:15pm installing day for my solo exhibition at the Fermilab Art Gallery, and I very pleased with the outcome. The main building at Fermilab (Wilson Hall) is a truly magnificent space; I feel like my work just seems to be floating in the air there.

Many thanks go out to amazing the crew: Georgia Schwender, Anne Mary Teichert, Margie Nagaitsev, Rose Moore, Bonnie King and Valerie Higgins  - for rolling up their sleeves and working hard putting all the work up on the walls!

Now that the exhibit is installed, I can sit, relax and enjoy the opening on Friday...

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Here are some images of my work from the fun opening reception and artist talk at the Gallery 19, on June 3rd, 2016...

 In this photo (left to right): Kathy Weaver, Britney Leanne Williams, Ana Zanic, Brigitte Wolf and Linda Adele Goodine

Monday, May 30, 2016


The two pieces below from my new "Impromptu" series are just being installed this week at the Gallery 19 for the opening reception and artist talk of the "Women We Love" exhibition on Friday, June 3rd 6-9pm. The exhibit will feature work by eight artists, and here is what the gallery wrote in their announcement of the show:

Impromptu I and II, watercolor on panel, 30"x30"

"We love these women because whatever their chosen medium--paint, print, photography, collage--the intent of their messaging is unavoidable.  Through their work, we are reminded of the constant fluctuations in our socio/political landscape."
I also loved what gallery owner Dietrich Klevorn wrote about my own work:
"Ana Zanic’s watercolors belie the rigor required to create the notions of amoebic flows, abandoned landscapes, ancient scribblings, aquatic dynamism. Only through such pure abstraction are we so readily lost and found."
"Women We Love" participating artists are Corinna Button, Linda Adele Goodine, Kathleen Hawkes, Sally Ko, Kathy Weaver, Brittney Leeanne Williams, Brigitte Wolf, Ana Zanic.

And these four new pieces below just arrived to Kathryn Markel Fine Arts last week. 

the four pieces above - all from the series "Flow", watercolor on paper, 22"x30"

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

    I feel the spring coming...

Every spring, I find myself excited about the awakened grass, sprouting plants and budding leaves, as those bright greens just overtake the subdued winter palette. I feel I have been somewhat dormant working in my studio over these past winter months, and now that the bright days are in store, even in the midst of this still pretty cold and rainy weather here in Chicagoland, I am moved by the potential of renewed nature.

Last year was a big one for me, both in my personal life of becoming a parent once again, and in my professional life, as I joined two more galleries; Walker Fine Art in Denver, and Gallery 19 in Chicago. Now being represented by five galleries across the United States I feel honored to have a chance to have my work seen, and hopefully enjoyed, by a large audience.

Gallery 19 will be featuring my work in their group exhibition opening in early June. Walker Fine Art will be showing my work in a four artists exhibit opening in November. I will write more about these event as they approach.

Until then, here are a few watercolors from my current "Flow" series.

*Ana Zanic, images from the series "Flow", 22"x30", watercolor on Arches