The art of painter Chris Anderson addresses the themes of American cultural traditions and life in the contemporary home and neighborhood.
Chris studied visual art in California at Scripps College (BA, 1971) and the Claremont Graduate University (MFA, 1973), in New York at the Pratt Institute of Art, and in Italy, at the Tyler School of Art in Rome.
The artist has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including The National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant Award in Painting, two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Awards in Painting, an Artists Space Artist's Grant, Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation Grant in Painting, a CAPS Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, and many research and scholarship awards, including two from The City University of New York and two Fulbright Awards from The Council for International Exchange of Scholars and the Fulbright Commission.
From 1996 to 2000, Chris lived and worked as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in the Arts in Berlin. The Fulbright Commission awarded her a lecturing/research grant as the only visual artist among over a hundred grantees under its auspices in Germany in 1996-97 and a renewal in 1997-98 as the first grantee in five years to receive the Honorary Fulbright Senior Scholar Award. As a Fulbright Guest Professor she taught "Experimental Painting and Drawing" for graduate and undergraduate students at The Berlin University of the Arts. In Germany the artist created over three hundred paintings for solo exhibitions at Amerika Haus Berlin, the 10. Internationalen Kunstforum at Eichhofen Palace, the Max-Planck Institut, and Galerie Dorow im Kunsthof Berlin (catalogue).
She has been the recipient of residency fellowship awards from foundations here and abroad: Yaddo, Austrian Chancellery of Art, Edward F. Albee Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, The MacDowell Colony, Deutsche Burgenvereinigung (German Castles Association, Marksburg Castle), Millay Colony, and the Fieldstead Company for work in Italy on "The Florence Portfolio," a body of prints now in the collections of the Vatican, the Armand Hammer Museum at UCLA, and over twenty university, corporate, and private collections. She was awarded a grant from the Fieldstead Foundation for work in Austria, England, and Scotland and Residency Awards from the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Center, where she worked until 2013.
Chris has lectured as a guest artist for numerous art institutions, including the Columbia University Graduate Department of Art, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of New Mexico Albuquerque, Smith College, University of Notre Dame with the Pew Charitable Trust/CIVA Graduate Symposium, and the Fine Arts Academy of Nuremberg, Germany (studio presentation). She has taught studio art on the faculties of Skidmore College, The University of Maryland, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute of Art Manhattan, Regent College in Vancouver, Canada, and Gordon College in Orvieto, Italy, among others.
Her work has been shown extensively here and abroad and may be found in over fifty public and corporate collections. A selective list of solo and group exhibitions includes the following: The Art Institute of Chicago; Kebble-Villa Museum, Germany; American Embassy, Moscow; Bilbao International Exhibition Centre, Spain; Muscarelle Museum of Art; Butler Institute; The Washington Gallery; Exit Art; Artists Space; The Society of the Four Arts of Palm Beach; Laguna Beach Museum; and The Rockefeller Arts Center; and Istitito San Lodovico in Palazzo Ranieri, Orvieto, Italy.
Selections from the artist's "Family Stories Series" were shown in the New York Foundation for the Arts Painting Fellows' Exhibition at Phillips' Pury & Luxembourg Galleries in Chelsea in "On and Off the Wall", curated by William Stover, then of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Her work was also shown at the Sato Museum in Tokyo, Japan, in "Considering Peace", a group exhibition sponsored by the International Arts Movement to benefit UNESCO. In July 2004, a solo exhibition of Anderson's work was held at Schloss Mittersill in Austria. In 2005, she was curated into the Corcoran Gallery of Art's benefit exhibition, "Select III, Washington Project for the Arts," in Washington, DC. With work created in residence at The Wayfarer's Trust in Freswick Castle, Caithness, Scotland, Anderson opened two solo exhibitions, "At the Back of the North Wind," at The Faculty School of Music, The University of Cambridge, Cambridge, and Catherine College, The University of Oxford, Oxford, England, sponsored by the C.S. Lewis Foundation's "Oxbridge" conference with the generous support of a Fieldstead Grant. In 2006 and 2007, Anderson exhibited in solo shows of "Family Stories" at Wexler Gallery, Philadelphia, and "Timepieces" at Bellevue Gallery, Vancouver, Canada, as well as in invitational shows at Regent College and Schloss Mittersill. In 2008, Anderson was invited to participate in "Amerika trifft Bayern: 1988-2008 Jahre Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus." The exhibition with catalogue, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the exchange between the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, was sponsored by BMW in cooperation with the cities of Schwandorf and Regensburg, Germany.
From 2010 through 2013, Chris worked on The Farmer Archives, a photography, sound, drawing, and painting installation project based on the American farm and changing rural landscape of middle America. She has interviewed, recorded, and photographed the oldest living farmers, ages 80 to 103 years, within a 160-mile radius of the geographical midpoint of the lower continental United States (latitude 39 degrees, 50 minutes, and longitude 98 degrees, 35 minutes). The exact midpoint of America is located in the middle of a hog farm 4.6 miles from a stop in the road called Lebanon, Kansas; the farmer moved the sign to keep the tourists off his land. The project participants are the great-great grandchildren of the nineteenth-century settlers who migrated west with the promise of free federal land, typically 160 acres or a "quarter-section," beginning with Abraham Lincoln's Homestead Act of 1862. Born before the Dust Bowl and Depression, these remarkable Americans lived through the era of the horse-drawn plow to tell their personal stories of life-and-death hardships, daily struggles for survival, and the simple pleasures of a childhood on an early twentieth-century farm.
At present Chris is working on a new body of paintings on paper in her ongoing "Historical Dislocations in the American Landscape" series. She is also preparing a work based on Chaucer's story of Chanticleer and the Fox (and Pertelote) in the Reynard cycle from The Canterbury Tales.
The artist lives and works in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, New York.
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