Monya Rowe Gallery, New York, NY
January 11 – February 22, 2015
Memory exercises a lot of poetic license; some details are deliberately omitted, or exaggerated, while others are remembered, perhaps, more fondly than the reality. Time can alter our perception of memory. Reality is constantly vacillating; desire, competition, anger, contentment, even old age, can play a role in how we visualize a past experience.
In Remarried, Ann Toebbe brings together eight new gouache and cut paper paintings depicting the domestic interiors of first and second marriages of people close to her. Delicately and elegantly constructed, Toebbe’s paintings of living rooms and in some cases, whole apartment layouts, frequently employ unusual visual horizontal and vertical formats. The flattened architectural space makes it difficult to discern where one room begins and another ends. Mundane objects, such as an isolated Coca Cola bottle, become psychologically fraught. With little evidence of day-to-day living, the formal arrangements rely on the viewer‘s expectation of memory to fill in the emotive energy.
Without using photographs, and mostly relying on recollected details told decades later or second-hand, each painting attempts to reconstruct the past: what happened versus what we remember, or what we want to remember.