Fisher Press
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ANNABETH MARKS has, at age 24, already proven herself to be a prolific, inventive and original painter. What sets her apart from the vast cohort of her peers is how fearlessly she will try something that she knows might not succeed. Many other young art school grads of the past 20 years have been notable for a careerist’s compulsion to make dependably marketable products right out of the gate. The art schools became very good in that era at teaching their students the trick of conjuring some appealing “look” replete with gimmicky devices calculated to project a sense of hip conceptual cleverness at the viewer, and assure the collector that their work must be “important”. Annabeth’s painting is refreshingly free of such calculation. She ventures into the deep woods with every foray at the easel. Each new painting is the residual evidence of a leap right off the edge of a cliff whose exact bottom she could never have made out beforehand. From our point of view at The Fisher Press, that kind of risk-taking is what real painting is all about: not to manufacture things that will look great over a couch, but to grasp all one’s knowledge and skill in hand and race headfirst at the oncoming train of the unknown. That is the true poet’s path. That is art.

What is also unique about Annabeth, and a growing trend among this newest crop of young painters, is her apparent liberation from the convoluted aesthetic and ideological neurosis that plagued those generations of artists who immediately preceded her at the end of the 20th century. She feels completely free to be whatever she might like to be with no apparent concern about making a political or conceptual wrong step. She and her fellows dip back into the great sweep of the history of art and are moved, influenced and informed by its precedents without qualifying those discoveries with ironic disclaimers. In this they may be the first genuinely postmodern generation.

The awards Annabeth has already won from the Yale University and the Florence Lief Foundation demonstrate that I am not the only person who sees great potential in her vision and work. The Fisher Press is honored to give her a first solo show here in Santa Fe.

Christopher Benson, Owner / Director -THE FISHER PRESS