New York, July 30, 2009 — Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York is pleased to announce the representation of British painter Annie Kevans. Perry Rubenstein Gallery will present a selection of the WAMPAS Baby Stars this summer in conjunction with Richard Woods’ exhibition The Nature Show. In February 2010, Kevans will have a solo exhibition at Perry Rubenstein Gallery in New York, marking her first large-scale solo exhibition in the US. Kevans has been exhibiting regularly throughout Europe since 2004.
Annie Kevans uses bright oil paint with a loose brushstroke and carefully composed negative space. Her technique allows her to portray an innocence to her subjects alongside a power; her characterization and style speaks to fantasy rather than realism. Kevans is fascinated by the representation of power and sociopolitical systems, and does extensive research for each series in order to craft and then visualize characters both real and imagined (often times the combination of the two). Kevans paints portraits of the famous and the infamous, the seen and the unseen. Her paintings are intimate in scale but epic in subject matter. “My paintings reflect my interests in power, manipulation and the role of the individual in inherited belief systems,” she says. “It is important for me to examine the duality of truth and falsehood throughout my work.”
In the series Boys (2004), Kevans depicts infamous 20th Century dictators such as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini as wide-eyed toddlers. In Vamps & Innocents (2007), she focuses on portraits of silent film stars of the 1920’s. For All the President’s Girls (2008-2009), Kevans painted all of the Presidential mistress on record, some of whom are household names (Marilyn Monroe, Monica Lewinsky), others who are little known or even unnamed (George Washington’s mistress, one of his slaves, just goes by “Venus”). WAMPAS Baby Stars is the London based painter’s most recent series. Kevans culled from Hollywood image archives of a selection of starlets who were elected by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers in the 1920’s and 30’s as faces of the future, idealized celebrations of American beauty destined for stardom. With the exception of a few Hollywood legends (Joan Crawford, Mary Astor, and Fay Wray among them), most of the girls did not end up crossing the threshold into movie stardom; Kevans portraits map those who were forgotten.
Annie Kevans was born in Cannes, France and lives and works in London. She earned a BA from Central St. Martin’s School of Art & Design in London, 2004. This fall she will have a solo exhibition at the Fine Art Society in London (November) and will be included in the much-anticipated exhibition The Power of Paper at the Saatchi Gallery (dates TBD). Past solo exhibitions include Vamps & Innocents, Galleria Antonio Ferrara, Vienna (2007); Swans, Art Work Productions, London (2007); and Girls, Studio 1.1, London. Kevans’ work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, notably at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (2001); Galerie Karin Sachs, Munich (2008, 2007); Galleria Antonio Ferrara, Italy (2007, 2006); Contemporary Art Projects, London (2007). Kevans was a finalist for both the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2006) Women Of The Future award (2007) in the UK.