Anna Von Mertens | Portraits
Stitched Work
January 6 - February 12, 2011
First Thursday receptions: January 6, 6 - 9 pm
February 3, 6 - 9 pm

_b_Anna Von Mertens_br_ _i_Portraits__i___b__br_St
Representing primarily works that she has experienced only through reproduction, Anna Von Mertens attempts to understand the power of a masterpiece - its “aura,” if you will. To create these signature hand-stitched hand-dyed fabric works, Von Mertens studied the art of aura reading, learning to depict this supposed aspect of several iconic portraits from art history, ranging from paintings of Adam and Eve by Hendrick Goltzius to Elizabeth Peyton's Zoe's Kurt (1995). With stitching, Von Mertens highlights the silhouette of the original portrait and the locations of the subject’s chakras, preserving a sense of the composition of the source artwork. Through additional research into the relationship between the sitter and the portraitist Von Mertens aims to characterize the nuance and tone of both participants.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1973, Anna Von Mertens received her BA from Brown University in 1995 and her MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in 2000. Von Mertens has had solo exhibitions at the Sara Meltzer Gallery (New York, NY), Jack Hanley Gallery (San Francisco, CA), the Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery (Los Angeles, CA) and the Berkeley Art Museum, among many others. She has been included in group exhibitions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA), The Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY), and Artists Space (New York, NY). In 2007 Von Mertens was a recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award, and in 2002 was an Artist in Residence at The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH. Recently, Anna Von Mertens was announced as the 2010 USA Simon Fellow, awarded by United States Artists, a public charity devoted to arts advocacy, funding, and support. Portraits will be Von Mertens’ third exhibition at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery.

Exhibition Images

Madame X_s Aura_ After John Singer Sargent
Madame X's Aura, After John Singer Sargent
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
83 x 43.25 inches

  Arrangement in Grey and Black_s Aura (Whistler_s Mother)_ After James Whistler
Arrangement in Grey and Black's Aura (Whistler's Mother), After James Whistler
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
54.5 x 63.5 inches

  Kurt Cobain_s Aura (Zoe_s)_ After Elizabeth Peyton
Kurt Cobain's Aura (Zoe's), After Elizabeth Peyton
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
13.75 x 11 inches

  The Duke and Duchess of Urbino_s Auras_ After Piero della Francesca
The Duke and Duchess of Urbino's Auras, After Piero della Francesca
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton

  Bacchus_ Aura_ After Caravaggio
Bacchus' Aura, After Caravaggio
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
39.75 x 33 inches

  Philip IV of Spain_s Aura_ After Velázquez
Philip IV of Spain's Aura, After Velázquez
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
24.75 x 20 3/4 inches

  Philip IV_s Aura_ After Velázquez
Philip IV's Aura, After Velázquez
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
80 x 38.5 inches

  Marilyn Monroe_s Aura (II.31) After Warhol
Marilyn Monroe's Aura (II.31) After Warhol
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
35.5 x 35.5 inches

  Marilyn Monroe_s Aura (II.23)_ After Warhol
Marilyn Monroe's Aura (II.23), After Warhol
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
35.5 x 35.5 inches

  Aura Self-Portrait_ After Vincent Van Gogh
Aura Self-Portrait, After Vincent Van Gogh
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
25.5 x 21.25 inches

  Girl with a Pearl Earring_s Aura_ after Johannes Vermeer
Girl with a Pearl Earring's Aura, after Johannes Vermeer
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
17.75 x 15.25 inches

  Pope Julius II_s Aura_ After Raphael
Pope Julius II's Aura, After Raphael
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
42 x 31.75 inches

  Gertrude Stein_s Aura_ After Picasso
Gertrude Stein's Aura, After Picasso
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
39 x 32.25 inches

  Adam and Eve_s Auras_ After Hendrick Goltzius
Adam and Eve's Auras, After Hendrick Goltzius
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton

  Mona Lisa_s Aura_ After Leonardo da Vinci
Mona Lisa's Aura, After Leonardo da Vinci
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
34.75 x 24.75 inches