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Annie Harris Massie: Inhabited Light
November 21, 2020 - January 17, 2021
Garden at Daybreak, 2020. Oil on canvas, 72 x 72″
Blue Cedar, 2020. Oil on canvas, 48 x 48″ sold
Blue Maple, 2020.Oil on canvas, 72 x 60″ sold
Blackhaw Viburnam on the Edge of our Field, 2020. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48″ sold
Late Summer Apples at Noon, 2020. Oil on canvas, 72 x 60″
Last Leaves on the Maple, Late Afternoon, 2020. Oil on canvas, 72 x 60″ soldDaisies and Queen Anne’s Lace in our Field, 2020. Oil on canvas, 50 x 40″
Blue Hydrangea on a July Afternoon, 2020. Oil on canvas, 48 x 36″ sold
Maple on the Edge of our Field, 2020. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40″ sold
Beehives in the Snow and an Edge of the House, 2020. Oil on canvas, 48 x 60″ sold
Blue Hydrangea in a Circle, 2020. Oil, encaustic on panel, 46 x 50”
Pale Sunset on the Snowy Road, 2020. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40”
Apples and a Piece of our Fiield, 2020. Oil on canvas, 48 x 36″
Six Hydrangea, 2020. Oil and encaustic on panel, 30 x 40″ sold
Faded Light on the Apricot Snow, 2020. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40” sold
Blue Hydrangea Ring, 2020. Oil on panel, 46 x 60″ sold
Orchard in Spring, 2020. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48″ sold
For the final exhibition of 2020, Les Yeux du Monde is honored to present Inhabited Light, new paintings in oil by well-known veteran of LYDM, Annie Harris Massie. Over the past two decades Massie has steadily increased the scale and abstract, all-over quality and often tonal colors of her paintings, but her primary concern is still Light and its dematerializing and unifying effect on her subjects, be they a familiar garden or city scene, tree, or cut hydrangea.
Garden at Daybreak, in its sheer 72 x 72 inch over life-sized scale and its loose, shifting planes of colors and brushwork, invites and engulfs the viewer in its depiction of early morning light on the dew-covered flowers. Her colors are complex and indescribable (are they mainly green, yellow, lavender?) in the variations she achieves from layering, and the shapes of flower and background interlock as the light both reveals and conceals. In her monumental vertical 72 x 60 inch Blue Maple Treethe negative space, or intangible light and atmosphere around the tree, is shattered and web-like and as tangible as the actual tree. She thus creates a painterly line-free almost cubist composition, which invites the viewer into its brilliant cacophony of color and light. Even in her striking cut hydrangea paintings, the shadows and background, painted in layers of subtle creams, lavenders, greens are as animated as are the flowers. These extraordinary creations, related more to the still life genre than to landscape, become refined and magisterial reminders of the fleeting ever changing nature of beauty and life.
Massie’s training in the plein-air tradition, painting outside in nature and the garden, and her degree in studio art from Hollins and Masters in Art History from VCU inform not only her art but also her founding, with her brother, McKinnon and Harris, which makes widely touted and awarded furniture for the landscape. She is aware of and pays homage to the great traditions in both furniture and art. Her paintings, for example, can be placed within the Venetian side of the Renaissance dichotomy between the painterly Venetians vs. the more linear Florentines, and linked to the late 19thcentury Impressionist and plein air painters as well as to the gestural all over abstraction of mid-century Abstract Expressionists, yet Massie has ultimately forged her own unique path. She expertly manipulates the material substance of oil paint to reveal the immaterial nature of light. Taking subjects or scenes most of us would see but not truly see, she extracts and magnifies the essentials, capturing the timeless and evanescent through painting the moving and transformative nature of light itself.