Wednesday, January 25, 2023
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There are many painters in Rhode Island, so it is difficult to make a singular voice stand out. For artist Anahid Epress, who is busy working out of his studio on the outskirts of College Hill, his colorful and intricate paintings are testament to the artist’s unique skill and vision. Her work sets her apart from her contemporaries and makes her one of the most fascinating and noteworthy painters in the region.
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Anahid Epress was born in Iran in 1984 to Armenian parents. He returned to Armenia in his teens, where he attended the Terremejjan State Academy of Fine Arts at Panos in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Ypres has traveled extensively, including a stay in France where she met her architect husband. The couple now resides in Rhode Island with her three children, and Ypres has an active studio in the historic John Russell Russell and William Russell Houses at 118 Her Main Street in North Providence. I’m ready.
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Vivid and lyrical, Ypres’ paintings touch on a variety of subjects, from landscapes and figures to abstracted still lifes. Her work tends to be ambitious in scale, and the underlying geometry and structure of her work are reminiscent of her early 20th century painters. She has exhibited extensively, most recently in the National Prize Show at the Cambridge Art Society and in a group exhibition at Gallery Z, Warwick. In the fall, she participated in outposts of She The Other Art Fair in Brooklyn and on the West Coast, bringing art produced in her Rhode Island studio to audiences across the country.
Ypres’ work has a directness to it. When she paints, she applies her pigments directly to the canvas. I usually avoid lengthy planning stages, research, or sketches that other people might employ when creating such large-scale and complex paintings. Asked about her process, the artist said: Being self-motivated makes work accessible, intimate, less overthinking, less working, less filtering between processes. I often sit and stare at the canvas before I start working. This is often composed directly on the surface, adding details along the way. ”
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The artwork in Ypres’ East Side studio is vibrant and the colors seem to come to life. In one recent still life, a dark purple background sets off imaginary leaves in pinks, blues and greens. In a nearby figurative piece, black and red accentuate the model’s slovenly form. Carefully selected tones bounce subtly to create a lively image.
Regarding the theory behind her use of color, Ypres said: I mix my colors and have several shades of each pigment available. ”
Beyond color, Ypres’ work has a strong compositional underpinning. Lines, designs and carefully calculated structures give her paintings a sense of balance. Although her work often focuses on the formal aspects of painting, she also creates images that evoke Armenian mythology and fuse figures, landscapes and imaginary forms into entirely new scenes. Ypres is a versatile artist, but her work reflects her crystal clear voice.
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Ypres creates paintings that are gorgeous and often pop off the canvas, but she is a quiet artist and focuses primarily on creating her work. She uses art to connect. Ypres said of what she hopes her viewers will take away from her paintings: The whole process of creating intimate paintings should help connect the viewer with the artist at a glance and enter my world without complicated barriers. As a modest artist, I see art as a key to expressing myself and being open to the world.
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Looking at her paintings, viewers get to know more about Ypres’ considerable talent. But more importantly, they will also find opportunities to find aesthetic connections that are a joy to look at and experience up close.
Anahid Ypres’ studio is located at 118 North Main Street Unit 6 in Providence. She is in the studio most days and arranges visits by appointment. For more information on her work, please visit www.anahidypres.com.
Michael Rose is a versatile fine arts professional based in Southern New England. Since 2014, he has been his gallery manager at the historic Providence Art Club, one of the oldest arts organizations in the country. Through his current freelance work, he advises collectors and artists, provides appraisal services, teaches and curates his projects.
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