b. 1961, United States

Elise Ansel Biography

Using energetic gestural abstraction, Elise Ansel translates Old Master paintings into a contemporary pictorial language. She mines art historical imagery for colour and form, setting aside the narrative and pictorial elements of these paintings and creating room for new interpretations. Her works interrupt linear readings of Old Master paintings, repurposing and highlighting the unexpected. The representational content is transformed into a celebration of colour, gesture, and the materiality of paint. In the process of reducing her inspirations to their most fundamental forms, she retains their power and energy, replacing imagery with dynamic movement and dramatic colour and light.

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'Elise has assimilated the originals at an unprecedented level, an almost atomic level, a level in no way attainable without absolute mastery of form and materials, before exploding them onto the canvas as her own.' – Lara Santor

Her work deconstructs authorial agency in order to excavate and liberate meanings buried beneath the surface of the works from which her paintings spring. Old Master paintings were, for the most part, created by men for men. Abstraction allows her to interrupt this one-sided narrative and transform it into a sensually capacious, non-narrative form of visual communication, repurposing the patriarchal language and misogyny that dominates the history of art. Her retelling of these paintings is infused with the joy of interrupting history, replacing the past with raw expression and embracing multiple viewpoints.

Text courtesy Cadogan Gallery.

Elise Ansel
featured artworks

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Dejeuner III by Elise Ansel contemporary artwork painting
Elise Ansel Dejeuner III Oil on canvas
36 x 46 cm
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Woman Reading XII by Elise Ansel contemporary artwork painting
Elise Ansel Woman Reading XII, 2024 Oil on linen
50.8 x 43.2 cm
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Woman Reading XI by Elise Ansel contemporary artwork painting
Elise Ansel Woman Reading XI, 2024 Oil on linen
76.2 x 63.5 cm
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Cadogan Gallery
Woman Reading X by Elise Ansel contemporary artwork painting
Elise Ansel Woman Reading X, 2024 Oil on linen
91.4 x 76.2 cm
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Cadogan Gallery
Woman Reading VIII by Elise Ansel contemporary artwork painting
Elise Ansel Woman Reading VIII, 2024 Oil on linen
76.2 x 53.3 cm
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Woman Reading VII by Elise Ansel contemporary artwork painting
Elise Ansel Woman Reading VII, 2024 Oil on linen
76.2 x 58.4 cm
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Woman Reading IX by Elise Ansel contemporary artwork painting
Elise Ansel Woman Reading IX, 2024 Oil on linen
101.6 x 96.4 cm
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Cadogan Gallery
Woman Reading II by Elise Ansel contemporary artwork painting
Elise Ansel Woman Reading II, 2024 Oil on linen
76.2 x 68.6 cm
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Elise Ansel
recent exhibitions

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Represented by this
Ocula Member Gallery

Cadogan Gallery contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom
Cadogan Gallery London, Milan
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