Daily Art Moment: Anne Appleby

[Image description: Requiem for a Ponderosa Pine, Anne Appleby, each panel 44 x 44 inches; overall: 90 x 90 inches, oil and wax on canvas. Four square panels, each a different color, grouped to form one larger square. The panels are arranged two over two. At top left, the first panel is a deep green and at top right the panel is reddish-purple. Bottom left contains the blackish-brown panel next to the faded orange or cantaloupe colored one at bottom right. The squares are hung so they are separated by narrow strips of the wall behind them. The panels appear to be solid blocks of color but closer inspection reveals subtle variations of shades and depth of color.]

Living in the Elkhorn Mountains in Montana, Anne Appleby has spent years closely studying the ecology, and more specifically, the trees that surround her land. Known for her “grid” paintings, Appleby paints the changing colors of trees that define their characteristics through seasons. Requiem for a Ponderosa Pine examines the variations of colors of a tree that has fallen victim to the bark beetle infestation that began in 2008 due to climate change, disrupting the fragile forest ecology. The upper left panel reflects the green of healthy needles, while the cantaloupe color is when the needles die and drop. The purple-red reflects a healthy outer layer of the trunk, compared to the dark, fire-burned black at its death. Depicting a full cycle in one work, Appleby meditates on the shifting cycle of colors brought on by unhurried observations.

Grace Kook-Anderson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art

Anne Appleby (American, born 1954), Requiem for a Ponderosa Pine, 2010. Oil and wax on canvas. Museum Purchase: The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Endowment for Northwest Art with partial gift of the Artist and PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, 2014.5.1a-d © Anne Appleby

Related Content