Questions (Evidence) (Detail), 2011
Questions (Supposition) (Detail), 2011
Questions (Viewpoint) (Detail), 2011
“In a number of photographs, Anne Collier shows us that self-analysis and critique are often only one step away from ruminations on the big questions of the meaning of life, the unknowable, and the sublime. A group of photographs called Questions from 2011 depict varying views of a manila file folder, each showing a different tattered sheet of colored paper that looks like a cue card for some sort of group discussion. What the topic might be remains a mystery, as these sheets could be tools for a screenwriting workshop, a survivor’s group, Bible study, or even an investigtive journalism course. The actual origin of the file is unknown, as the artist found them on the street in the East Village, New York.
Detached from their intended context and seen within Collier’s openly discursive practice, these questions take on a universal, even existential significance. For instance, the page Evidence asks: “How do we know what we know? What is the source and how reliable is it?” Many of the questions are ones we should ask as engaged consumers of visual culture. In her sly way, and with these artifacts from contemporary culture as her prompts, Collier provokes us to think critically but not without an ever-present poignancy that connects her inquiries to her own life.
Thus we also detect a sense of introspection embodied in the Supposition sheet: “What if . . . ? Could things be otherwise? What if there are or were alternatives?” With these works, Collier ably joins a long tradition of textbased, conceptual art, as she relies on her razor-sharp eye and featherweighttouch to coax grand social and philosophical treasure out of what was clearly someone else’s trash.”
Anne Collier (b.1970, Los Angeles) currently lives and works in New York City. Collier received her BFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia in 1993; and her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001. Collier’s work was most recently the subject of a traveled solo exhibition at the Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany in Fall 2018, which then traveled on to Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland in January 2019. In 2018 she had a solo exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery, New York; and a survey exhibition at FRAC Normandie, Rouen, France(2018).
Her work was the subject of a major traveling survey exhibition organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2014), which traveled to the Hessel Museum, Bard College, Annandale-onHudson, NY (2014); the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO (2015), and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada (2016). Collier’s work will be the subject of solo exhibitions at Galerie Neu, Berlin, Germany in September 2019, and Gladstone, Brussels, Belgium in October 2019. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Tate, London; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Perez Art Museum Miami; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; among others. In 2018 she joined the board of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York.
Anne Collier is currently represented by Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Galerie Neu, Berlin; The Modern Institute, Glasgow and Gladstone Gallery, Brussels.