Anita Jung is a professor in the Print Program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. She previously taught printmaking, drawing, and installation courses at Illinois State University (1991-1992), Ohio University (1994-1999), and the University of Tennessee (1999-2006). She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Arizona State University in painting and drawing (1985) and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in graphics (1990).
Over a thirty-year career, Jung’s artwork has been in hundreds of solo, group, and juried exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad. Two of her recent solo exhibitions were in India: Travel Diaries, Gallery White, Vadodara, Gujarat, 2022; and Works on Paper by Anita Jung, JKK Art Center, Jaipur, 2018. Her work has been in over one hundred group exhibitions in the past ten years, with many traveling throughout the United States and abroad. She participated in over twenty national and international portfolio exchanges, and her work is in many private and public art collections.
In 2022, Jung spent six months on a Senior Scholar Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship project recording video footage germane to contemporary printmaking in India. Jung has a long history in community work from early in her career offering courses on How to Make Prints Without a Press, being an Artist in the Schools in Calcasieu Parrish, Louisiana, and the Hancher Auditorium project, We All Perform, that involved seven junior high schools from across Iowa. Jung currently serves on the Iowa City Public Art Advisory Committee. In addition to art, she is an experienced and passionate gardener specializing in creating backyard urban sanctuaries and native perennials.
The Pattern and Decoration movement combined with Appalachian quilts, the textiles and tantric art of India informs my abstract works of art. Local craft and hardware stores combined with readily available materials, everyday ephemera, and Buddhist theory are the catalysts for my works on paper and paintings on panels.
The physical materials often generated by the creative waste produced by other makers and sourced by culling through dumpsters or the aisles of home improvement big-box stores inform my marks. Shapes fashioned by CNC tools and computers that embody the cold precision of technology and are dependent on the order of the grid turn into faltering, vulnerable forms in my hands. These materials separated from their intended purpose are undesired negative cutouts derived from positive shapes, discarded, and rescued to develop a printing surface or stencil.
I recognize these materials as imperfectly beautiful, embodying an awkward abstraction to the point where they are no longer self-referential. Repurposing these objects results in the mutual acceptance of their and my imperfect, unresolved, cumbersome existence. They become an exercise, a lesson in acceptance, humility, and gratitude.
These castoff materials convert into layered compositions, veils, and dialogues within ambiguous spaces. In my work, interferences like curtains, or the stone screens used in Indo-Islamic architecture that block the harsh sun, cool the desert air, and act as blinds permitting one to look out and remain hidden are evident. These signify the relationship between interior and exterior, inner and outer experience, and the limitations of the metaphysical mind-body dualism of Western thought. My works of art continue to evolve due to my sustained interests and exploration in meditation, mindfulness, and image making.