Anya Spielman

Born in 1966 - United States


Anya Spielman is an American abstract painter. Her work explores the constellation of binary forces and forms, presenting doble images : the tension between knowledge and ignorance, between being seen and not, between humanity and inhumanity. She lives and works in the area of Los Angeles. Anya Spielman studied at the University of California, Davis, where she obtained a Barchelor's Degree in plastic arts and anthropology in 1989. She was one of Wayne Thiebaud's students, and he kept mentoring her after she graduated.

Spielman uses oil paint on a canvas, paper and boards of different sizes; she works on about 40 paintings at the same time, passing from one to the other, as they take shape, and then isolates the piece to finish it. Her saturated surfaces are bright, she alternates bright and matt layers, and makes nail marks that leave scars and deconstruct the work. These engraved marks and lines represent an image and an idea, and are often the underlying structure, the submerged language of a work.
Her use of reds and roses evokes the flesh and the blood, and the pale creams, yellows and blues of her palette recall the body fluids and the heartbeat of life.

Curiosity about what lies underneath the surface led Spielman to get inspired by corpses, and to conceptualize the underlying strata of a shape, it seemed evident for her that the process of dissection was linked to the process of painting. She is captivated by the physical act of painting, the intensity of saturated colors and human motivation.

Ted Mooney, editor for Art in America, said about Spielman's work: "Anya Spielman's mastery of her invariably attractive palette of colors can be misleading: she knows the depths of human motivation and does not hesitate to bring the observer to more ambiguous and darker places than the one which could seem obvious at the beginning. However, it can take some time to figure out how you arrived there, and to figure out how to come back. But after all, this is exactly the characteristic of all the paintings worthy of its name".

Spielman's works are part of numerous private and public collections, mainly in the United States, as well as abroad, including the permanent collection of the US State Department, which acquired an oil painting of 54 "x124" on paper, called "weightless" as part of the Art in Ambassassies (AIE) program. This work is exhibited at the Embassy of the United States in Monterrey, Mexico.
Spielman has exhibited extensively in the United States in solo and group exhibitions. She has also done international exhibitions in Canada, Uruguay and Argentina.
Her work has also been presented in several art fairs, including Select Fair NYC, Aqua Art Miami, Art Fair 21, Cologne and Bridge Art Fair in London.


•"Weightless" was purchased as part of the "Art in Embassies" (AIE) program by the US State Department for the permanent collection of the United States Embassy in Monterrey, Mexico.
•Nominated to the grant for painters and sculptors by the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

; Presented at the Bowery Artist Tribute of the New Museum

Chosen for the Program of American Artists Abroad by the US State Department, to serve as art ambassador in Uruguay, teach and give lectures.

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Naughty Cream, Window Project, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR

New Works, 618 NW Glisan St., Portland, OR

• Stung, Michael Rosenthal Contemporary Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA
• New York Series-Falling, Caffe Museo, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA

New Work, 108 Bowery, New York, NY

Beneath," Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Science/Art Synthesis, The Pence Gallery, Davis, CA

• Memory Stones, Stanford Faculty Club, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
• New Works, Albany Arts Gallery, Albany, CA

Archeology of Mind, Shenandoah Gallery, Plymouth, CA

Select Fair NYC, New York

Gallery Favorites, Murdoch Collections, Portland, OR

• Prints for PICA, Portland, OR
• Flat Files Show, White Box Gallery, New York, NY

• Prints for PICA, Portland, OR
• Frank Shell Tour, Portland, OR

Prints for PICA, Portland, OR

• Prints for PICA, Portland, OR
• TALENT PReVIEW ’09 5 Curators, 5 Gallerists Select 5 Artists Each, White Box Gallery, New York, NY

• Aqua Art Miami, Miami, FL
• Art Fair 21, Cologne, Germany
• Art Now, New York, NY

• Red Dot Fair, Michael Rosenthal Contemporary Art, Miami, FL
• Bridge Art Fair, London, UK (Catalogue)
• American Embassy, Art in Embassies Program, Montevideo, Uruguay

Toybox Holiday Benefit, White Box Gallery, at Robert Miller Gallery, New York, NY

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Auction, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA (Catalogue)

Groundswell Benefit, White Columns Gallery, New York, NY

• POP Culture Road Show, NY, Miami, Chicago
• Lucky Draw, Deitch Projects, New York, NY
• San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Auction, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA (Catalogue)

• Art Miami, Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, FL
• Palm Springs International Art Fair, Palm Springs, CA
• LA Modernism Show, Santa Monica, LA

Gallery Artists' Exhibition, Art Smart, San Francisco, CA

• San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Auction, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA (Catalogue)
• Lef Foundation/Villa Mein Exhibition, Yountville, CA
• 29th Annual Juried Exhibition, Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA
Juror: Janet Bishop-Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA; Artists Council Award

Art is Vital Gallery, Calgary, Alberta

• San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Auction, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA (Catalogue)
• Painting Exhibition, John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, CA
• US Art Fair, San Francisco, CA

• Oscar Wilde: A Man of Great Importance, Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA
• Artists Salon, Lecture/Exhibition given to SFMOMA
• Introductions, Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA
• Status Report: Seven Years of Artist Projects/Programs/Exhibitions, Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA
• US Art Fair, San Francisco, CA
• Breakfast at the Galleries, with the opening of new SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
• The Figure, John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, CA

• Homage to the Bard, Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA
• Art Los Angeles 1994, The International Contemporary Art Fair, Los Angeles, CA
• New Images, Center for the Visual Arts, Oakland, CA Juror: Phil Linhares, Curator of the Oakland Museum of Art
• Bay Area Women Artists' Exhibition, Agnes Bourne Gallery, San Francisco, CA
• US Art Fair, San Francisco, CA
• LA Modernism Show, Santa Monica, CA
• Crocker Art Auction Exhibition, Live Auction, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA

The Walter Buehler Gallery, Davis, CA

• UC Davis Alumni and Faculty Exhibition, the Walter Buehler Gallery, Davis, CA
• The Weir Gallery, Berkeley, CA

Crocker Art Auction Exhibition, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA


Joan Mitchell Foundation Award Nominee, New York, NY

US EMBASSY American Artists Abroad Program, Montevideo, Uruguay
Selected as an Art-Ambassador to exhibit and teach in Montevideo.

Vermont Studio Center Artist’s Grant

Artists Council Award, Palm Springs Desert Museum; “29th Annual Juried Exhibition.” Juror: Janet
Bishop – Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA

Nominated by Wayne Thiebaud for the American Academy & Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY


Permanent Collection of the US Embassy, Monterrey, Mexico, Art in Embassies, US Department of State
Wayne Thiebaud, Sacramento, CA
U.S. Ambassador Frank Baxter & Mrs. Baxter
John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, CA
Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Pence Gallery, Davis, CA
Numerous Private Collections

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