Anna Kunz: Physical Sunshine

May 21 – June 24, 2017

Reception: Sunday, May 21, 3 ‐ 6pm
Curated by Anne Harris

Anna Kunz, detail of work in progress: Physical Sunshine, latex
and acrylic on fabric, daylight, 5’3” x 4’ x 2’, 2017.

Download a PDF of the exhibition essay written by Anne Harris by clicking here: Anna Kunz–essay

The Riverside Arts Center is pleased to present Anna Kunz’s solo exhibition Physical Sunshine.

Anna Kunz’s paintings are flowing plains of fabric that transform rooms. She steeps porous open-grained cloth in paints or dyes, and also paints through fabric against the wall — allowing pigment to penetrate and mark the surface beneath. The paint on the wall becomes a piece but so does the material itself, which is then hung loose so that daylight passes through it. And the light itself is also a piece. That light is saturated with color, which leaks through space and splays across the floors and walls.

This interaction between material, pigment, light and air — the physical three-dimensional experience of translucency — is the body of Kunz’s work. We are the heart. The work comes alive as we move through it. These lushly seductive color-spaces only exist as art when they contain us. The meaning lies in the experience. As the work transforms from attractive to mesmerizing, we’re lured into hypnosis, a full body engagement, like music and dance.

Kunz’s work descends from non-figurative painters of the sublime such as Turner and Rothko, and also from color field painting, particularly Helen Frankenthaler. Today it sits between the juicy geometry of Mary Heilmann and Robert Irwin’s ethereal scrim pieces. Its 3-dimensionality has been woven around experimental dance, and she has worked collaboratively with choreographers and dancers, most notably the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in both New York and Chicago. Although her installations are body-less, they are completed by us — our moving physical selves.

All is a procession,
The universe is a procession with measured and perfect motion

Walt Whitman, I Sing the Body Electric

–Anne Harris

In the artist’s studio: a model of the RAC Freeark Gallery, as plans for the installation unfold.

About the Artist

Anna Kunz lives in Oak Park, IL, and teaches at Columbia College Chicago. She received her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1991, her MFA at Northwestern University in 2000, and attended the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2009. Kunz has exhibited her paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and installations at such venues as White BOX, NYC, Art Expo Projects Chicago, and the Smart Museum at University of Chicago. Her work can be found in such public collections as the Prudential Building in Chicago, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Block Museum at Northwestern University, and St. Salvador’s College in Scotland. Honors and awards include residencies from the Edward Albee Foundation and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, as well as nominations for grants such as 3Arts, the Artadia Fund and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award. In addition to her own work she has curated exhibitions such as the HATCH GALLERY PROJECTS for the Chicago Artists Coalition, and NATURE, Unframed, at the Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL. She is currently Director of Tiger Strikes Asteroid (TSA) in Chicago, part of a national artist-driven coalition of alternative galleries. More information on the artist can be found on her website.

Currently, Kunz’s solo exhibition Heroes for Ghosts is on view through June 17 at Galleri Urbane in Dallas, TX. She also will be having a solo show in 2018 at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, curated by Alison Peters Quinn. She is represented by McCormick Gallery, Chicago, IL, and Galleri Urbane Dallas/Marfa.

Anne Kunz, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, 2010

Anna Kunz: Heart of Glass, latex on fabric, C2C project space, San Francisco, CA, 2017

This exhibition is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; and sponsorship from the Riverside Township.

The Riverside Arts Center Freeark Gallery + Sculpture Garden
32 East Quincy Street, Riverside, IL 60546

Gallery Hours: Tue-Sat, 1-5pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays and major holidays.

All of our exhibitions are free and open to the public.

For additional information, visit
or contact Freeark Gallery Director Claudine Isé at cise[at]

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The Riverside Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
This program is funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; and sponsorship from Riverside Township.