Ann and James Walsh

Ann Walsh | James Walsh


Opening Reception September 8, 4:30 – 6 PM

The Picture Gallery’s final exhibition of the 2012 Summer Exhibitions Program showcases the recent work of New York abstract painters Ann and James Walsh.

Ann and James Walsh met in graduate school at Syracuse University and have lived and worked in their studios in lower Manhattan for the last 30 years. Both artists immerse themselves in their materials directly but create distinctly different looking pictures. James Walsh has been an innovator in the use of heavily thickened acrylic paints while Ann Walsh uses vinyl and thinly poured coatings to create simple clean surfaces. They have had numerous solo and group exhibitions, exhibiting recently at Spanierman Modern and Lori Bookstein Fine Art in New York City.


The works that I have submitted are modest in scale yet immodest in surface.

Innovations in waterborne acrylic paint technology have enabled the materials that I use to retain definition, resist shrinkage during drying, and allow for a multiplicity of surface modulations and thicknesses. When necessary, paint exceeds three or four inches in depth.

These extreme pictorial elements provide for a tension between a background surface and an elevated foreground that provides a dynamic range from stasis to acceleration. The scale of my work is approximately three by four feet and smaller, to allow for the contrasts in surface which result from the clustering and concentration of the elements.

Modernist abstract painting typically relied upon the apprehension of color on a large scale, and invites viewing from a distance. My paintings move in somewhat the opposite direction: they concentrate inwards and demand close inspection.


I work in the service of color to give the viewer the best experience possible.

When you paint, all that you have to offer is summed up and presented in each image you compose. I seek to aim high, and to have something to say. For more than 40 years, I have followed the lead of painters who have pushed the agenda of painting.

It is important to know who leading the way, because they offer an artist their trajectory.

I employ simple mathematical compositions and straightforward proportional relationships to privilege the properties of color. I play with the scale, hue, value, and position of color to create a visceral visual experience for the viewer. Good abstraction can capture you. it can be felt as immediately as when you enjoy anything physical such as music or a good laugh. When an abstract painting succeeds ,the physical sensation of the picture grabs you, like the thumping rhythm in your favorite song.