Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Anne Muntges (b. 1982) studied at the Kansas City Art Institute earning her BFA in Printmaking in 2005 and at the University at Buffalo earning her MFA in Printmaking in 2008. Based in Brooklyn, her work focuses primarily on highly detailed drawing, prints and installation. She has been exhibited at the Children’s Museum of Arts in Manhattan, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago, the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, and many other spaces nationally. Currently her work, The Glowing Desert, is on view at the Fou Gallery in Brooklyn
Muntges’ work is in many collections including the California College of the Arts, Library of Congress, Joan Flasch Library, and the Burchfield Penney. She has been awarded a NYFA/ NYSCA Fellowship in 2014, and many residencies and fellowships since 2010 including the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, BRIC, Guttenberg Arts, and the Roswell Artist in Residency Program.
"Drawing is my key to understanding the world I live in. Nothing I see becomes real until it has been explored by the line of my pen; everything I encounter becomes encased in my handmade marks whether it is on paper, wood panels or directly on objects.
I recreate portions of the environments I inhabit by collecting the pieces of my daily encounters; urban and rural landscapes I walk, filled with discarded remnants or bursts of nature and manicured greens. My drawing captures the evidence of other people in these these landscapes, by replicating the artifacts left behind and translating them to monuments and revered objects. Each artifact becomes a drawing and the thousands of drawings I create compose over time into larger and larger works.
My obsessive process blends between 2D and 3D worlds. Traditional drawings on wood panel, board and paper are done with graphite or pen. Drawing sculptures are real objects that are primed white to create a new blank canvas for black drawn lines and patterns composed of acrylic paint or ink. The final works become interactive black and white worlds, with splashes of color, that immerse viewers into a drawn new world."
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in the arts.
Raised in the Midwest, I think I have inadvertently embraced the unwavering belief that hard repetitive work was the only way to exist as an artist. Line by line and mark by mark, I obsessively and tediously draw and recreate portions of the world I encounter everyday so that I can better understand it and experience it as a drawn reality. I am currently based in Brooklyn, and studied printmaking at the Kansas City Art Institute and the University at Buffalo. I’ve spent years seeped in the non profit art world doing everything from setting up screen printing shops, to running studios, managing education and residency programs to now working in development. All while also exhibiting, attending residencies across the country and creating studio work. I see the art world from both a maker and administrators view. My work is highly detailed drawing, prints and installation. Nothing I see becomes real until it has been explored by the line of my pen; everything I encounter becomes encased in my handmade marks whether it is on paper, wood panels or directly on objects. My process blends between 2D and 3D worlds. Traditional drawings on wood panel, board and paper are done with graphite or pen. Drawing sculptures are real objects that are primed white to create a new blank canvas for black drawn lines and patterns composed of acrylic paint or ink. The final works become interactive black and white worlds, with splashes of color, that immerse viewers into a drawn new world. What kind of work are you currently making? I have been experimenting with different ways to layer all of my drawings and sculptures into the same installation spaces. In practice I had separated the pen and ink drawings, from the panels, from the sculptures because they felt like such separate executions. The longer I am seeped in this work though the more I see how much it is all part of the same world. I am excitedly layering things together both dimensional and flat and letting new arrangements happen organically rather than by design. It is exciting because it is really opening up the possibilities for the types of drawings I can include as well as the sculptural objects that can come in. It is as important to capture the minute details of each small object as it is to understand the whole made by all those objects. Bit by bit the work is getting more immersive and if all goes well it will become a a fully drawn world filled with recognizable objects made new as drawings. What is a day like in the studio for you? I am lucky in that I have dedicated studio time each week, despite working full time with a family. Because of this careful balance though between studio and work there is no normal day and I always have at least three things going at once. This means making works that are portable and works that stay at the studio. So depending on the day I could be doing small drawings at home at my mini studio (like in the evenings throughout the week) or bigger things at the studio on the weekend when I can focus longer and make bigger messes. The key to achieving a normal day in studio is flexibility and being prepared to adjust as needed. What are you looking at right now and/or reading? After spending way too much time focused on news for the last year I am finally giving myself a break to enjoy actual mentally satisfying things again. I just finished re-reading Just Kids by Patti Smith, partially to fall in love with my neighborhood again (yes I live near Patti’s old haunts), but also to revisit that feeling of being immersed in good work and friendship and love as a young artist again. It felt like a good reawakening after a year of covid and uncertainty. It has inspired me to listen to a ton more music - Leonard Cohen, Otis Redding, Niko Case - to take deep dives into artists works who I have only looked at the surface of - Do Ho Suh, Eva Hesse, Yayoi Kusama - and to better understand friends and magical artists like - Rachel Grobstein, Larrybob Phillips, Mizin Shin. Where can we find more of your work? Web: www.annemuntges.com IG: @anne_muntges Upcoming: 2.5 D: Breaking the Surface - The Guenzel Gallery at the Peninsula School of Art in Wisconsin // A Sense of Place - Virtual Show on Artsy from ResourceArt currently live