Signed on reverse
Oil on canvas
19 x 22 inches
Anna Ortiz’ works on canvas depict the landscapes and fauna of Mexico, often presented in a state of flux. In this work, titled Eclipse, Ortiz presents a nocturnal desert at the moment of eclipse which illuminates the scene in a hazy glow, lending the painting a dreamlike quality. Eclipse evokes the stillness of the night in the desert, the spiky fronts of a plant in the foreground give way to an expansive valley below, and a jagged stretch of mountains in the distance.
Ortiz’ landscapes are informed by both real and imagined places, existing at the boundary between the two, her work engages with the uncanny. This notion of the in-between is reflective of Ortiz’ own sense of self and her Mexican-American identity and the sense of distance she feels from both of her nationalities as a result. Using a restrained palette of blues and greens, Ortiz brings depth and texture to the painting. The artist seeks to play with spatial relations and colour in order to consider the realities that we construct for ourselves.
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B. United States1979
Inspired by the archaeology of Mesoamerican figures and the landscapes of Mexico, Anna Ortiz’ work is a personal investigation of her own Mexican-American identity. With a childhood spent between both countries, Ortiz’ work reflects the dislocation and ambiguity that she feels from both her nationalities. Ortiz’ sociopsychological landscapes are defined by a duality: the statuary and plants that she depicts exist at the border between memory and imagination, reflecting both ancient Aztec and Mayan mythologies, as well as contemporary and personal events.
Weaving together invented spaces with references to actual places, Ortiz playfully engages with the uncanny, depicting an invented world which exists just slightly out of reach. The artist’s heightened colour palette and spatial compression invite a consideration of the realities we create for ourselves.
Ortiz was born in Massachusetts, United States, graduating with a BA/BFA in Painting from Tufts University and SMFA Boston, before completing an MFA at Tyler School of Art in 2005. Her work has exhibited extensively in the United States, and has been featured in several publications, including Artforum and Art Maze Magazine. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.