Joy Anson

Dr. Vigari, Commercial Dr., Vancouver
Through June

Boxers (1996),
acryclic on canvas

JOY ANSON studied abstract painting in the late '70s, and later became intrigued by the style of the early German expressionist Egon Schiele. Her current paintings combine features of both, with graphic contour lines and solid-color areas in layered washes.

Anson is what might be called a "primitive" artist, who instinctively ignores such traditional art conventions as the use of linear perspective to create illusions of volume and recession. The pieces of her paintings, particularly her bright, tilting houses, are often charmingly crammed into their formats. Her portraits are likewise squashed, with a sense of being glued flat and upright against a window pane.

Anson is the kind of painter that one hopes will never "try" to paint realistically, because her style -- dense, packed, frontal and stacked -- conveys such compassion towards the subject matter. It is humanistic and often humorous in detail. Her colorful houses, propped in rows, take on the personalities of the timeless activities within them; her still lifes retain a sense of the hand that positioned the models.

© Mia Johnson