Visual and Arts Residency @ the Annex studio
Hannah Bureau is a name on the lips of many art-enthusiasts these days. It seems she just can’t make a painting that isn’t sublime even though she tries. Hannah is a 3rd generation female painter in her family. She moved from Paris to Cambridge, Massachusetts at age 8. Her mother and grandmother were artists and her father was an architect. Growing up she was bathed in aesthetic bounty and surrounded by artwork that was influenced by most of the historical art movements from the last century-and-a-half. The result, in Hannah Bureau’s paintings, is a compelling tension of contemporary gestures and techniques with interesting visual allusions to mid-century abstraction, and also some compositions and palettes reminiscent of the 1910’s – giving not the impression of “neither here nor there” but an inexplicable pleasure of an uncanny collapsing of times and styles that is entirely unique and satisfying. In conversation with the artist she reveals, “I try to intervene in the beauty, I try to disrupt simple visual pleasure, I aim for ugly moments but usually come up short and they’re not ugly at all.” It’s true. With that in mind it’s exciting to evaluate the mark-making and gestures on Bureau’s canvases where you can almost trace her layers and moments of interventions that always seem to add up to something rich, fascinating, and harmonious.
Hannah Bureau generally paints from memory. Her works range from pure landscape to pure abstraction but most of her pieces fall exactly in-between the two. There is an intoxicating push-me-pull-you of recognizable moments in the midst of abstract and sumptuous painted surface. Her work is compelling because it is generous and the viewer can get lost in the work with their own impressions.
“My paintings are just at the intersection of landscape and abstraction. I am interested in creating space and distance that feels like the familiar world around us but is ambiguous, general, and abstracted. In my painted world I want visual plains and geometric shapes to intersect, overlap, pile-up, and ultimately create a sense of visual distance and depth that we can identify with.”
Hannah Bureau is a graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design and was selected as an outstanding graduate student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design for Boston Young Contemporaries at Boston Universityʼs 808 Gallery in both 2007 and 2008. Her paintings were exhibited at the Saatchi booth at the PULSE Art Fair in New York City. She has studied with many renowned contemporary american artists such as Eric Aho and Jon Imber.
Hannah was born in Paris and moved to America at the age of 8. She works in an old textile mill that has been converted into artist spaces.