Ann Orlowski

Ann Orlowski

Madison, WI


Ann Orlowski is a painter based in Madison, WI. Her hard edge depiction of architectural designs explore themes of modernity and industrialization. Orlowski’s clever use of line and color plays with our vision, manipulating our perspective and spatial awareness. She holds a BFA from the University of Northern Iowa, where she focused on printmaking. Since leaving the University setting in 2004, she has developed her painting practice and has shown her work throughout the region. She has focused her career on both art making and curation. Orlowski is the Director at Abel Contemporary Gallery, she curates shows in the Madison area, and has juried art shows and fairs throughout the region.


Artist Statement

The known world is understood through the particular mind of each individual observer. During the creation of a piece, I am cognizant of my personal thought process, and I have expectations of what the viewer may perceive in the work. However, this universal process of translating ideas into images is inherently flawed. My thoughts, transmitted through paint, will be reinterpreted through the experiences and knowledge of the viewer. This is not to say this new comprehension is a failure in communication, rather it adds to the richness of the work as context and value increase through additional viewings. Using architectural components these compositions are positioned at the intersection of represented space and perceived space. This convergence of perceptions is achieved by applying visual indicators of the constructed world through an astute use of perspective. Using abstracted architectural elements allows the piece to manipulate the sense of three dimensional space within a two dimensional plane, thus revealing how the visual world can be organized in new ways. The compositions are deliberate, concise, and organized. Objects are rendered through intersections of flat planes and straight lines to reveal a simplified vision of complex structures. Line is used to play with concepts of perspective and to indicate points of transition and connection within a composition. The results are hard edged paintings, with simple forms and subtle shifts in color. My paintings strike a balance between abstraction and representation. They are defined by precise geometric forms and a restrained palette. Included in this exhibit is the piece Glasshouse, this painting is created through the application of many layers of casein paint on a clay board panel. Starting with a flat opaque surface, multiple veils of translucent color are applied. Once the shape of the image is established, a sharp structural drawing is created by scratching through the paint surface. These works focused on hard-edge depictions of architectural design, which explore themes of modernity and industrialization. With the ever increasing use of virtual face to face communication and video conferencing our private spaces are increasingly on public view. Much like the glass of a greenhouse invites light in to reveal the interior structure of the building, these modern technologies are breaking down barriers between our private life and our public life.

Ann Orlowski, Glasshouse, 2022, Casein on panel, 36" x 36" x 1.5"