Anne Baxter 2021 Texas Sculpture Group
From Ashland, Oregon
I sculpt exclusively in wire mesh as it allows inner and outer spaces to be perceived simultaneously. In a way, my sculptures are manifestations of physical existence, of how things appear in reality. Being able to see physical boundaries as well as having the ability to peer directly in and through the work is for me a metaphor for how we experience not only surface appearances, but also intangible qualities like mystical, spiritual or psychological characteristics.
The intent behind my work is to achieve an overall effect of transparency, in a way to postulate on what it might be like if we had the ability to perceive inner as well as outer processes without any encumbrances, perhaps like X-ray or CT scans allow us to see beyond surface appearances. Offering glimpses into the invisible in this way allows me to imbue each work with a sense of energy and aliveness.
I first discovered the wire mesh medium in New York in 1984 while working on an armature to be covered in plaster. Reflecting back on what it looked like before the plaster was added, I realized that the sculpture had been more compelling in its rudimentary form. From that point on, I began to create artworks where the wire mesh foundation would instead become the finished form. I then galvanize the surface of each sculpture with a gold, silver or bronze finish to unify, protect and accentuate its form. My working method is entirely manual, using small pliers and scissors in intricate ways that bring inanimate structures to life.
My connection with art began in Seattle and I have always been involved with art in one way or another. Throughout my childhood, I enjoyed creating artwork whenever possible including at school, at Seattle Art Museum workshops, and later at courses offered through the University of Washington. At the age of 18, I moved to the East Coast to continue my arts education.
I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from Colby College, Maine, 1983, with a double major in Art and English. During this time, I also studied Art History and Literature at the University of Reading in England. After graduating from college, I moved to New York where I studied drawing & anatomy at The Art Students League. It was during this period that I created two large-scale works in what would become my signature medium, wire mesh.
Upon traveling overseas to Paris, I became a student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, graduating with Honors (félicitations du jury) and a four-year Fine Arts Degree in Sculpture, 1990. My work was the subject of the ENSBA’s first one-person student publication, “Traces 2.” I was the recipient of various awards during these years, including a technology-based award from Le Figaro and La Compagnie Bancaire.
I participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions during my Paris years, principally with Galerie 1900-2000, and then moved to Los Angeles in 1994, where I continued to exhibit both in the United States and abroad. At this time, I experimented with various finishing techniques such as antiquing and gold-plating, as well as further developing my classic sculpture in silver. I also created a body of work exploring the integration of color into my artwork through the experimental use of abalone.
Upon relocating to Southern Oregon in 2014, I taught at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Southern Oregon University, and at the Ashland Art Center. While creating new work, I developed a bronze-toned finishing process to enhance the contrast, volume and texture of my sculpture. I am the recipient of a Haines Foundation grant, 2017, and an Oregon Arts Commission and Ford Family Foundation grant, 2018. I presented a large-scale sculpture at Time-Space-Existence, Venice 2018, organized by the GAA Foundation and hosted by the European Cultural Centre. My sculpture, "Infinity" was exhibited along with the work of 30 sculptors and 150 architects from around the world as part of the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.
Currently I am working on a new series entitled, “Through the Window.” It addresses crossing through the threshold of 2020 with its unprecedented challenges, and entering into this new era of undiscovered possibilities, forward movement, and a greater sense of freedom.
My work is in numerous collections in Europe, Japan, Mexico, and the United States, including: Ecole des Beaux-Arts; Beth Callahan Collection; Pol Bury Collection; Ciba-Geigy Corporation; and the Haines Philanthropic Foundation.