Howard Skrill, Anna Pierrepont Series, Part I

I draw and paint, plein air and in studio works, public figurative statuary for my art series, the Anna Pierrepont Series. The images are often combined with words into pictorial essays that explore the traumatic and often violent erasure of collective and personal memories that arise in both the installation and removals of public statues. Unsurprisingly, the Anna Pierrepont Series is being caught up in the rising tide of the evictions of objects and the backlash to the evictions since the rise to power of the current American president, particularly in Charlottesville Virginia during the summer of 2017.

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Sheridan from Sheridan Square [Manhattan]
14” x 17” oil stick, oil pastel, chalk pastel, graphite and colored pencil on paper, ©2017

 

The pictorial essays are being published worldwide in popular, literary and academic publications, in addition to being exhibited in academic and other public exhibition spaces, in addition to open studios, in NYC and elsewhere. The series’ central purpose is to interrogate how groups come to “speak through the city” by additions of artworks to public places and how this power can shift between groups thus marooning the objects that speak for the past in the present with often unhappy consequences, including evictions and violence relating to evictions. I encourage viewers to recognize the dissonance between statements of identity earlier epochs interject permanently into the always dynamic present in marble and bronze shaped with artists’ hand as the present increasingly views these objects as not representative of the past’s ideals but rather its biases that saddle the present with the persistence of injustice.

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Beard Monument from Green-Wood cemetery
14” x 17” oil pastel on paper, ©2015

 

My images come into being through visual encounters with the objects transformed by dynamic changes in light and color in things ideally encountered out of door and that have originally been created by other artists. I have named the entire project after Anna Marie Pierrepont, a grand dame of 19th century Brooklyn interred in one of the most magnificent tombs in Green-Wood Cemetery in walking distance from my home in Brooklyn, New York. I named the series after Anna, because I recognized in her strident efforts to maintain her memory and the ultimate failure of that effort, something of the hapless Ozymandias and his trunkless legs of stone in the vast desert of Shelley’s poem.

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Henry Ward Beecher from the side from Cadman Plaza
9” x 12”, oil stick, oil pastel, chalk pastel, graphite and colored pencil on watercolor paper ©2018

 

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William Tecumseh Sherman at South Central Park
oil stick, oil pastel, chalk pastel, graphite and colored pencil on paper, 14”x 17” ©2016

 

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Male Figure from Brooklyn World War II Memorial
14” x 17” oil stick, oil pastel, chalk pastel,mgraphite and colored pencil on paper, ©2015

 

Howard Skrill is an artist/educator and is the creator of the Anna Pierrepont Series, drawings and paintings that he has been making of public statues and occasionally their removals and subsequent absences. This images have been published standing alone and included in pictorial essays published worldwide and subject to a number of exhibitions in the United States. The work of the Anna Pierrepont Series explores the erasure of public and private memory that is the companion to the installation and occasionally the removal of public monuments. Howard lives with his wife in Brooklyn, NY.

Do not miss the Part II coming on Monday 14th of January.

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