Early works from 1987 to 2003
By ROBERTA SMITH JAN. 18, 2018
ZQ Here you’ll find a seductive introduction to the varied activities of Anne Grgich (born 1961) in the form of paintings, embroideries, collages and assembled books. Faces are the primary subject; the main look is updated, slightly raunchy Byzantine.
The mask-like, slit-eyed faces that stare back at the viewer from the patched and impastoed pages of these books represent people she has know of figures from her highly- charged imagination, like ghosts from her tortured past or apparitions out of a hallucinatory drug experience. She compulsively works and reworks these pages until they leave her possession for the growing number of exhibits and collections in which her art is represented. Despite the similarity of this process to the obsessiveness with which many "outsider" artists create their work-- and also in spite of her imagerys rawness-- Grgich's books are highly sophisticated works that deserve to be taken seriously within the larger framework of contemporary art. To pigeonhole or ghettoize her art in the culturally problematical subcategory of outsider art is to do it a disservice. Although highly personal and idiosyncratic, her work metaphorically alludes to social and psychological issues that are increasingly pertinent to all of us, and especially to this country's younger citizens. It is an art which confronts and stares boldly back at an often violent and hostile world that appears to be falling apart at the seams.
Published in conjunction with a one-person exhibition of paintings by Anne Grgich. August-September, 1996. Includes the essay "Masked Faces Confronting a Hostile World: Notes on the Art of Anne Grgich" by Tom Patterson.