“I suppose I’m in my gray period now,” says Norwegian artist Anki King as she surveys her paintings at Trygve Lie Gallery for her upcoming exhibition. That would be a bit of an understatement as most of the rather large canvases she has just hung have a charcoal foundation upon which white silhouettes are painted. But look closer and you see many other colors too, hiding in the gray and the white and the borders in between: shades of yellows and reds ... but gray, says King, is the color of her childhood. And “Sisters” is her new exhibition, which takes a closer look at her childhood. A childhood King calls “idyllic.”
“I realize that now, when I talk to people who grew up in New York. My sister and I could be gone for hours, and my parents wouldn’t worry.”
Anki King left the forest and Norway for New York 15 years ago, and has since established herself as an artist. She says she has found an amazing community of artists in the Big Apple.
“Where I grew up in Norway, being an artist wasn’t really a reality — it was something you read about in books. Here in New York, you can just talk and eat art. But the competition is also very fierce, you have to constantly give it your all and be very focused all the time. I think it can be compared to being a scientist. You spend a lot of time thinking and trying out little things. What seems most promising you might pursue on a larger level. Waiting, checking and watching takes up a lot of the time. Sometimes you miss and have to start all over and sometimes you hit something. This always leads to a whole new set of questions that then have to be figured out. You can do a lot with meticulous testing, but intuition definitely plays a large part in the larger more important discoveries.”
King explains she works rather fast, but only after having thought quite a lot about what she wants to do. Other artists, such as Nathan Oliveira and Susan Rothenberg, inspire, as music does at times.
“I was at an artist’s residency in Virginia,” King says, “and a young composer was there at the same time, and his music inspired me to make this woman out of vines. It still stands there.”
For her “Sisters” paintings, King spent time thinking about her childhood and her younger sister. She says she didn’t remember much, and had to ask others for details. The paintings show her and her sister as white, almost ghostlike shapes, dancing, crouching and playing. It is a tender exhibit that looks at sisterhood with love. “Sisters” runs through April 26.
For more information:
www.trygveliegallery.com
www.ankiking.com

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