Water, SunSet Memories, 10 x 12 x 24 feet, 2022
Acrylic on Tyvek with wooden frame and wire

St. Paul, Minnesota artist Anne Labovitz, creates colorful and powerful large-scale works and installations that invite the audience to consider their lives in connection to water. This new work examines water in different visual manifestations–highlighting its powerful and mesmerizing presence. Labovitz also considers bodies of water as a place for contemplation, solus, and as a site for reflection. Through painting, sculpture, and a large room installation, audiences are offered an immersive and participatory experience.

“Water Stories reflects ideas of the regenerative qualities of water, expressed visually through painting, installation, and sound. Water, SunSet Memories, the painted tyvek room, is an invitation for viewers to become immersed in a tranquil colorfield of blue while experiencing water sounds.” 

I am a conceptual artist whose work addresses themes of human connection, the immersive power of color, and radical care in contemporary art. My research-based practice combines painting, sculpture, light, installation, mixed media and social practice to address ideas by activating color and light in large-scale immersive work. For me color is an energy; a life force.”

–  Anne Labovitz 

View Catalog

Left to right All Change, Tree Worship, We Arrive at Color, River Reverie, The Sixth Vision, The Planets
Acrylic on Tyvek, each 144” x 30”, 2022

Autumn Reverie: Six Versions

“Rich colors blend seamlessly into blue. For me, colors are a life force. Embedded in the work through mark-making, gestures, and stories. When I was making the works, I was thinking about my mother and her experiences with and near water.”

Water Works I,II, III, IV, V,VI, VII, VIII,IX, Acrylic on Canvas, 60” x 60”  2022

Water Works

“Through tonality, the paintings in this gallery embody the physicality of reflection, focusing on the water’s surface quality and luminosity. The selected paints are metallic, highlighting an investigation into light and surface. The shimmery qualities of the iridescent paint underneath peeks through the layers of color. When the viewer moves around the room the paintings change depending on the viewer’s vantage point, effectively activating the paintings. These works are multi-layered. I applied tissue thin layers of paint daily over the course of fourteen months. The gradation is an examination of tonality, distilling the idea of the landscape and the horizon line to its simplest form. The buoyancy and reflective qualities of water are prioritized as reflective rather than literal. That means the horizon line disappears because the priority is the reflective essence of water. It is not a representational work, it’s more about a feeling and a conceptual approach to water through the magically shimmering iridescent color.”

– Anne Labovitz

Water, SunSet Memories, 10 x 12 x 24 feet, 2022
Acrylic on Tyvek with wooden frame and wire

This installation piece has a durational, performative quality; marking time, place, space, and experience. The color choices, the application of paint, and the gestural movement found in the work reflect my emotive states. The process brings to fruition several decades-long praxis, trusting in my precision in tandem with allowing the materiality of the paint to assert itself within the work. There is a tension between expertise and experimentation and allowing the material to respond to my movement. It’s an autobiographical work. The intentional tonal qualities of the blue hues are a meditation on the vastness of water and its complex coloration and reflections. On one end there are intense red, orange, green and yellow gestural marks, which represent a setting sun. Engulfed in vast blue, this particular part of the installation recalls memories and emotions.

The work may provide a moment, a meditative opportunity, as the viewer is surrounded by emotive and mesmeric color walls and audio. Physically, the public is immersed and also becomes integral to the work. In this way, the public activates the installation through their movement, gently swaying the walls of the room mimicing the slight movement of calm water.

Recorded at sunrise on the shores of Lake Superior, Water Sounds: Sunrise, is a sound piece that also connects to memory and place. It is a collaboration with  author and musician Bill Gamble, and Minnesota jazz musician Benny Weinbeck. The recording captures the vast mesmerizing sounds of the water lapping against the rocks and tumbling of the pebbles. Created as an hour and half-long recording, the sound is looped to give the visitor an immersive experience. Located in the Water: SunSet Memories room installation, the audio adds to the work making it an experiential site. The idea is to create a space of solis and contemplation inspired by large bodies of water found in Minnesota including Lake Superior.

San Diego, Venice, Florence, Florence II, Lake Superior I, Lake Superior II, Bassano del Grappa I,  Bassano del Grappa II, artist books, watercolor on Rives BFK, each 3” x 9” x 3”

Water Stories Volumes

“These artist’s books were created over a period of two years during travels to various sites with water, including Lake Superior, Italy, and California. Conceived as a response to the environment and an archive of my personal experiences with water. Each plexiglass box contains a volume of 12 books created on-site at one location.“

What does water mean to you? Interactive public project, Watercolor booklets with graphite

Educational/Outreach Component

As part of the exhibition, Labovitz has created a pedagogy that encourages visitors and participants to create their own small books celebrating thoughts, memories, and feelings around water such as: resiliency, strength and beauty. The idea is to create an interactive, engaging, and poignant participatory experience for visitors. Labovitz’s artistic practice is a representation of personal intention to create moments of seeing and being seen by others. The artist creates moments to pause and think, reflect, and see someone else and to create art that acts as a language through the use of color. Labovitz’s  work is about connecting with people through the sharing of and listening to stories.