Ann Craven

Some stars, a bridge and birds...
Ann Craven / Marianne Vitale

Curated by Yann Chevallier

The exhibition brings together the work of Ann Craven and of Marianne Vitale for the first time. Both were born in the 1970s and live in New York. One is a painter, the other a sculptress. The exhibition’s title – “Some stars, a bridge and birds” – suggests a poetic scene, sketching out the outlines of an idealised landscape. And it is also a partial and objective indication of what we find in the exhibition. These artists’ works share a strong attachment to their evocative powers while attempting to reduce the images summoned to a condition of mere motif. Two strategies are employed here: where Ann Craven reproduces and multiplies in order to empty the images of all emotional charge, Marianne Vitale burns matter, mistreating it to make her objects change dramatically within an experienced reality.

The links to time and memory are also a shared feature of the two artists’ work. Both try to fix time, to construct mementoes before memory alters them. Ghosts of emotions thus run through Craven’s pictures: loved ones and unforgettable moments are metamorphosed into birds, trees and a multitude of moons. And for Marianne Vitale’s part, she summons up the history of the pioneers of America’s far west as metaphor for a genres-based history of art that she puts on a pyre in to re-appropriate them with a forceful energy.

Stars, a bridge, birds, a stele, mementoes, a facade, fire, scattered stories, a mechanical memory, buried conflicts, common gestures: art and life thrown together.

Text by Yann Chevallier, 2014.
Traduction : Lucian Comoy
The cool factor

Ann Craven’s paintings are all different. When you look at one you feel lucky. If you put one of her paintings on the wall it just looks good. It doesn’t matter if you want something tough or something sweet, one of Ann’s paintings will fill the void. When you see Ann Craven’s art somewhere, it starts working to separate itself from everything aroud it. It exists in its own time. the paintings themselves are beautiful objects. Each one looks as it has always existed. As if caring hands have moved it from wall to wall over a lenght of time. This gives the works a warm weight. It is hard for me to say that I like this type of work, but then I start to realize that Ann’s work is not «this» type of work. It is really ist own thing. Ann’s art opens my eyes to other things in the world that I might, otherwise, not thought about. Her art is straightforward. She is always trying to portray it as having some sort of conceptual meaning, and it does, but not in the way she thinks. The conceptual aspects of Ann’s work lie in the straightforward and driving process and style in which she works. She’s a very hard working person. Often she sets out to do impossible things. No matter what she does, it is the absolute quality of it that prevails.

Ann’s work is capable of entering our conscience at many different points. It can at the same time be both a cold symbol of modern times and a straightforward persentation of a subject. In some contexts, Ann’s work could be a colorful decoration. In another, a painting could become a biting comment ont the state of things. Critics of Ann Craven’s work might say it lacks the «cool factor». All this means is that Ann keeps producing her work unfettered. She has managed to push hard through the challenges of being a great artist.

The birds look good. They serve as a perfect vehicule for color and expression. They are sometimes perceived as silly. A big painting of a bird is silly, but once you get over that initial recognition stage, things begin to change within the painting. The scale and the «allover-ness» of them is evident to me. Also, the straightforward and casual assuredness with which the painting is executed. A lot of the birds are somewhat sinister and dark. The moons are dark, but they are not so sinister. These were presented numerous times in numbers ranging from one to hundreds. I sometimes think she overdid it a little with the moon. But to really appreciate them, see just one or two on the wall. Four or five would look good. These paintings are just black squares ; I think 12 or 14 inches square. Near the middle of each painting there is a white circle or a dash with some haze. It is a quick depiction of the moon. To make these paintings, Ann actually goes out and paints the moon at night. It may sound romantic or glamorous but it’s actually not. She always seems nervous and agitated when she paints the moon. She is afraid the moon is going to go away before she can get it. Of course it’s going away. But it comes back. She also does them large now. I think 4 feet square. The large moons comme off differently. They are less immediate, but softer as well. Some of this softness appears to come from the larger brushstrokes. Ann’s way of scaling up her moon paintings was to use a bigger brush on a bigger canvas.

Ann can produce great paintings, one after another. Ann can make a painting from nothing. She doesn’t take breaks to reflect on things. Ann manages to walk the line between writing a tell-all book and remaining completely uninvolved. One common thread, which runs through Ann’s subjects, is the lack of specificity. The subjects are all rather generic. Leaden metaphorical meanings and definitive protraits tend to be avoided. Ann Craven mostly limits herself to animals, moons, trees, stripes, and so forth. Currently, moons and birds are probably most prevalent.

The problem with most representational art is that it is so sure of itself. What gives a subject so much importance that it warrants an artistic rendering of itself ? Often representational painters completely misunderstand the whole idea about art. They think art is about doing things competently with just a touch of panache. That is indeed on kind of art, bit not a very interesting kind. Great representational art looks right through its subjects. The subject only serves as transportation for an expression or idea. The subject is not a crutch or a publicity gimmick. Ann Craven’s work does not go around to openings with a limp and a cigarette between its lips. Playing those types of games is not an option for these paintings. These paintings just come in and get the job done.

Because Ann Craven sets the bar very high for herself, she usually waits until close to the last minute to start working on something. She is always thinking of the context of her work. Perhaps she does not have to think so much about this because that is often hard to control.

Ann seems in a way unsatisfied with everything she does. That’s why she keeps constantly working away. The birds and the moons are both simple ideas. Is the challenge not to make things as simple and successful as possible ? When it comes to painting it is best to sneak all of the meaning in though the back door. Ann does not burden the viewer with issues or problems. The issues and problems are all there, only they are disguised as the moon or as a deer.

Ann takes tried and true ideas and portrays, as if she herself invented them. When she paints a deer, she acts as though she is the first person ever to paint a deer. She just dashes forward with a firm innocence. Her skill as an artist is greatly enhanced by that innocence. She takes everything so seriously ; that bothers me, and I hate her.

Josh Smith, 2009
Group shows at Ceysson Gallery
Ann Craven - Marianne Vitale, Paris
March 29 - May 18, 2014


Ann Craven, Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers, France (forthcoming)

Ann Craven, Maccarone, New York, NY
Ann Craven: Hello Hello Hello, Southard Reid, London

Summer, Southard Reid, London
Ann Craven, Great Jones 39, New York, NY
Ann Craven at Conduits, ReMap3, Kerameikos-Metaxourgeio, Athens, Greece
Ann Craven, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
Watercolors 2005-2010, Maccarone, New York, New York

Flowers, Maccarone Gallery, New York, NY
Ann Craven, Blancpain Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland

Shadows Moon, CIAP, Hasselt, Belgium
Puff Puff, Conduits Gallery, Milan, Italy
Golden Swamp Warbler, Galerie LHK, Paris, France

Against the Stream, Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY
Shadows moon, Frac-Champagne-Ardenne; Reims, France
Snoom, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Wilmington, DE
Moon Birds, Knoedler & Co., New York, NY
Moon Birds, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL

Deer and Beer LA, Mandrake, Los Angeles, CA

Ann Craven, Galerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels, Belgium
Ann Craven, Klemens Gasser + Tanja Grunert, Inc., New York, NY
Deer + Beer, Klemens Gasser + Tanja Grunert, Inc., New York, NY

Ann Craven, Angstrum Gallery, Dallas, Texas
A Poppy is a Poppy is a Poppy, The New York Horticulture Society, NY

After Nature, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Domestic, Los Angeles, CA
Ann Craven, Galleria Paolo Curti / Annamaria Gambuzzi & Co., Milan, Italy
Ann Craven, Klemens Gasser + Tanja Grunert, Inc., New York, NY
This Way no This way, Aut Aut,Mario Diacono, Boston, MA

Ann Craven, Klemens Gasser + Tanja Grunert, Inc., New York, NY
Ann Craven, Allston Skirt Gallery, Boston, MA

Ann Craven, Curt Marcus Gallery, New York, NY
Ann Craven, Gallery Ha Ha, Knoxville, TN

Ann Craven, Lauren Wittels Gallery, New York, NY

Ann Craven, Lauren Wittels Gallery, New York, NY


A Poem For Raoul And Agnes, curated by Sherman Sam, Ancient & Modern, London (Forthcoming)
Ann Craven and Marianne Vitale, Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Paris
Staging Interruptions (Stream Of Life), curated by Sarina Basta and Mary Reinbold, Southard Reid, London
Personal Space, Essex Flowers, New York

Forthcoming: A Poem For Raoul And Agnes, curated by Sherman Sam, Ancient & Modern, London
Island, curated by Sarina Basta, The Dairy Art Center, London
Beer, curated by Drew Heitzler, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee
The Cat Show, curated by Rhonda Lieberman, White Columns, New York
Station Identification, Michael Benevento, Los Angeles
Souvenir, curated by Lucie Fontaine, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
Femminile Plurale, curated by Sara Boggio, Galleria In Arco, Turin, Italy
The Amazing Shoemaker, Fairy Tales About Shoes and Shoemakers, Salvatore Ferragamo
Museum, Florence, Italy
39greatjones, curated by Ugo Rondinone, Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland

Painting as a Radical Form, curated by Mario Diacono, Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy
La Fête Est Permanente #4, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne 2011-12 Aquisitions, Museé de L’Ardenne, Charleville-Mézières, France
Estate, curated by Lucie Fontaine, Marianne Boesky, New York, NY
Sous le Signe du Cancer, curated by Olivier Mosset, Galerie des Multiples, Paris, France
Howling at the Moon, Dickinson Gallery, New York, NY
The Spirit Level, curated by Ugo Rondinone, Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY
Modern Talking, curated by Nicola Trezzi, Cluj Museum, Cluj, Romania

Just ask Alice, curated by Amy Granat and Joao Simoes, Fitzroy Gallery, New York, NY
Four Rooms, CSW Zamek, Warsaw, Poland
Heads with Tails, organized by West Street Gallery, Harris Lieberman, New York, NY
8 Americans, organized by Keith Mayerson, Maruani & Noirhomme Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
Painting . . . EXPANDED, curated by Marysol Nieves, Espacio 1414, Santurce, Puerto Rico
Heads with Tails, organized by West Street Gallery, Harris Lieberman, New York, NY
8 Americans, organized by Keith Mayerson, Maruani & Noirhomme Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
Chaos as Usual, Bergen Kunsthall, Norway
Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland, Organized byJosephine Kelliher, Rubicon Gallery, Dublin
Ying Yang Music, in collaboration w/ Peter Halley, curated by Amy Granat, Non-Objectif Sud, Tulette, France
The Medicine Bag, Organized by Ellen Langan and Jasmine Tsou, Maccarone, New York
Rituels, La Fondation d'entreprise Ricard, Paris
Painting Overall, Prague Biennale, curated by Giancarlo Politi and Helena Kontova in collaboration with Nicola Trezzi, Czech Republic
A Painting Show, Curated by Laura Raicovich and Jessie Washburne-Harris, Harris Lieberman Gallery, New York, NY
The Great White way Goes Black, Vilma Gold, London
HYSTERIA, LAUGHTER AND A SENSE OF SERIOUSNESS, Conceived by Mareike Dittmer & Raphael Gygax, Karma International and Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich
Oh Deer!, Organized by Bk Projects, Drive-By, Watertown, MA

Neo Integrity: Comics Edition, curated by Keith Meyerson, Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, New York, NY
Exhibition #3, Emily Harvey Foundation, New York, NY
CAA Exhibition, Organized by Michelle Grabner: Ann Craven, Peter Halley and Jon Pestoni, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL
White Columns Xerox Editions, White Columns, New York, NY
Picturing the Studio, Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Hello, Mr. McGrudder, Benson-Keys Arts, South Hampton, NY
No Bees No Blueberries, curated by Sarina Basta and Tyler Colburn, Harris Lieberman Gallery, New York, NY
North Drive Press Benefit, White Columns, New York, NY,
Collection of… Works from the collections of: Michael Clifton, Clarissa Dalrymple, Matt Keegan, Cary Leibowitz, Amie Scally and Linda Yablonsky, White Columns, New York, NY
Whitney Art Party, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, June
Constellations: Paintings from the MCA Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Farimani Fundraiser, Starr Space, Brooklyn, NY
XOXO, Apartment Show, New York, NY
Strip/ Stripe: A project by Test, Emily Harvey Foundation, New York, NY
White Columns Xerox Editions, Shane Campbell Gallery, Oak Park, IL
If The Dogs Are Barking, Apartment Show at Artists Space, New York, NY

Blank Complexity, curated by Karma International, Parisa Kind Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany
Nov 5 - 26, 2008, by Joao Simoes, Emily Harvey foundation, NY, NY
Catawamus (for H.D.), curated by Matt Keegan and Amy Granat, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, MN
Pretty Ugly, curated by Alison Gingeras, Maccarone Gallery, New York, NY
Tales of the Grotesque, curated by Gianni Jetzer; Karma International, Zurich, Switzerland.
Fair Market, curated by Haley Mellin, Rental, New York, NY
You Said He Said She Said, Selier + Mosseri-Marlio Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland
White Flag Projects; Cinema Zero, curated by Amy Granat , St. Louis, MO
The Searchers, Curated by Amoreen Armetta and Molly Dilworth, PNCA, Portland, Oregon
Thank You For Coming, Triple Candie 2001-2008, Triple Candie, New York, NY.
Accidental Modernism, curated by Christopher Eamon; Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York, NY

Catawampus (For H.D.),curated by Matt Keegan + Amy Granat, Shane Campbell Gallery, Oak Park, IL
Birds, Dwight Hackett projects, Santa Fe, NM
All Mirrors are Broken, curated by Anthony Huberman, Galerie LHK, Paris, France
Joe Bradley, Ann Craven, Dana Frankfort, and Keith Mayerson, Zach Feuer Gallery, New York, NY
Warhol and…, Kantor/Feuer Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Re-dis-play | Non-Art-Collections from Artists and Curators, curated by Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg, Germany
What We Do Is Secret, curated by Amy O’Neill, BLANCPAIN ART CONTEMPORAIN, Geneve, Switzerland
Small is Beautiful, Klemens Gasser + Tanja Grunert, Inc., New York, NY
Orchids for Orchard; On the Collective for Living Cinema, presented by Cinema Zero, Orchard Gallery One night Only- Thursday April 19, 8PM, New York, NY
Big Secret Cache, Angstrum Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Girlpower & Boyhood, Solverget, Stavanger kulturhus, Stavanger, Norway
Cinema Zero Presents; “Etceteras of the Carrerond (What Comes is better than what came before),” the Collective Unconcious, New York, NY
CarreRond in Paris, Centre Culturel Suisse (CCS), Paris, France
The Kitchen and Cinema Zero Presents; an evening with Cinema Zero, Ann Craven in collaboration with Amy Granat and Dusty Santos, The Kitchen, New York, NY
Bunch Alliance and Dissolve, Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, organized by Public-Holiday Projects, Los Angeles/New York and the CAC.
Girl Power and Boyhood, curated by Lene Burkard, Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense, Denmark
Girl Power and Boyhood, curated by Lene Burkard, Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Kamp K48,’ curated by Scott Hug, John Connely Presents, New York, NY
Blue Movies for Gray Flags, Environment: Ann Craven; Selection of Short Films with Performance by Chuck Nanny, Fiamy, presented by Cinema Zero, Sculpture Center, Queens, NY
Portraits, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA; curated by Paul Morris & Marc Selwyn.
New Work, curated by Tanja Grunert; Klemens Gasser + Tanja Grunert, Inc., New York.
Cluster, organized by Katie Holten, presented at; PARTICIPANT INC., New York, NY; Sundown Salon (in association with Art 2102), Los Angeles, CA; FOUR, Dublin, Ireland; El Particular in Mexico City, Mexico
Bird Space: A Post-Audobon Artists Aviary, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona

Modest Sublime, curated by Leila Amalifitano, The Carpenter Center for the Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Sports Illustrated, Islip Museum, New York, NY
The Kitchen High Line Block Party, pet and people portraits, The Kitchen's 7th annual 19th Street block party, New York, NY
Kamp K48 - The Zine Unbound, Curated by Scott Hug; Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, San Francisco, CA
New Figuration, Galleri Christina Wilson, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Flower Power, Klemens Gasser + Tanja Gruner Inc., New York, NY
Neo-Baroque, curated by Micaela Giavannotti, Biblos Center for the Arts, Verona Italy
The Thing That Separates Man From Animal, Curated by Lisa Kirk, FlatOtel, New York, NY
Chao Manhattan, curated by Joseph Wolin; Perugi Arte Contemporanea, Padova Italy.

The Sixth Annual Altoids Curiously Strong Collection, The New Museum, New York, NY
Consolidated Works, Seattle, WA; Arthouse, Austin, TX; Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA.
Ann Craven and Keith Meyorson, curated by Lisa Kirk, Scope art fair, Miami, FL
Emo Eco, curated by Simon Watson/Scenic Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL
She’s Come Undone, curated by Augusto Arbizo, Artemis Greenberg Van Doren, New York, NY
AC, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, NY
The Collector's Cabinet: for Marsha, Organized by Simon Watson / Scenic, Marc Selwyn Fine Art at Domestic, Los Angeles, CA
Portraits, Esso Gallery, New York, NY
Birdspace: A Post-Audubon Artists Aviary, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
ANIMALS & US; The Animal in Contemporary Art, Galerie St. Etienne, New York, NY
For The Birds, curated by Denise Markonish, catalogue essay by Michael Crewdson
ArtSpace, New Haven, CT
Bird Space, curated by David Rubin, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans

Out Law Series, New York, NY
You, curated by Lisa Kirk, 110 W 14th Street, New York, NY
Ann Craven, Art Basel, Klemens Gasser&Tanja Grunert, Allston Skirt Gallery, Miami, FL
Giverny, curated by Yvonne Force and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Salon 94, New York, NY
City Mouse, Country Mouse, curated by David Hunt, Space 101, Brooklyn, NY
Mixer03: An Ornithological Group Show in All Media, Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, IL
Summer Group Show, Allston Skirt Gallery, Boston, MA
Gone Fishin' in Provincetown, Allston Skirt Gallery, Provincetown, MA

Group Exhibition, curated by Bonnie Clearwater, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL
Aviary, Curated by Edward Thorp, Edward Thorp Gallery, New York, NY
Art/Basel, Klemens Gasser&Tanja Grunert, Inc. and Flash Art., Miami, FL
Pretty Paintings, Curated by Sean Horton, The Model Gallery, Boston MA
Hotel/Motel, 11 Artists with Studio’s in Harlem, Triple Candie , New York, NY
Primal Screams and Songs, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami Florida.

Extraordinary Realities, curated by Annegreth Nill, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH.
Many Moons, curated by Barbara Bloemink, Hammonds Museum, New York

Heads Up, new acquisitions exhibition curated by Bonnie Clearwater, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL
Invitational White Columns benefit auction, White Columns, New York
Group Exhibition, Curt Marcus Gallery, New York;
Ann Craven Studio Tour, to benefit The Coalition for the Homeless, Art Walk New York, NY

Group Show, curated by Michael Jenkins, Wooster Gardens, New York, NY
Guadalajara Art Fair, Guadalajara, Mexico.
Gay Men’s Health Crisis, sponsored by David Geffen, New York Hospital,, NY
Invitational exhibition, curated by Milena Kanovska, Provincetown Art Museum, Provincetown, MA
Summer Invitational Exhibition, Curt Marcus Gallery, New York, NY

Invitational Benefit Auction and Exhibition, White Columns, New York, NY
Time Wise, Curated by Carin Kuony, The Swiss Institute, New York, NY
Invitational exhibition, juried by Chuck Close, Charles Gwathmey, Nathen Olivera, and Robert Ryman, New York, NY
American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; work by newly elected members & recipients of honors and awards;
awarded Rosenthal Foundation Young Painter Prize
Three Painters, Lauren Wittels Gallery, New York, NY