Anastasia Pelias was born in New Orleans, LA to Greek parents. Her artistic practice is rooted in the dual cultural identity of both her native and ancestral roots in New Orleans, LA and Skopelos, Greece. Blending the vibrant, compassionate nature of a New Orleanian with her weighty Greek heritage, Pelias creates work that is rich with personal depth of emotion, life experience and the spirit of exploration. An abstractionist in the truest form, Pelias’ work reflects a seriousness and dedication to the traditional principles of painting – both the concept and the actuality.
Pelias received her BFA from the Newcomb College of Tulane University in 1981 and her MFA from the University of New Orleans in 1996. Her career spans thirty years and multiple reinventions. She has been featured in exhibitions, art fairs and publications nationally, such as the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, American University (Washington D.C.), Proteus Gowanus (Brooklyn, NY), Miami Project 5 Art Fair, Texas Contemporary Art Fair (Houston, TX) and in Hyperallergic and Pelican Bomb. Her works appear in private and public collections world-wide, including: the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Mobile Museum of Art, Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital (Commack, NY) and the private collection of Ambassador Alexandra Papadopoulou (Athens, Greece).
I paint large-scale works on canvas that evoke places, moments and consciousness. The paintings are human sized and invite the viewer to be in the painting as opposed to looking at the painting. I am perpetually interested in the experiential moment — how the space of the flat picture plane can have physical depth and also allow for social interaction. Greek rituals and icons, the rich Afro-Caribbean culture in New Orleans, the shifting landscape of both my immediate environment, Louisiana, and of my familial home, Greece, all equally inform my work.
I build each painting intuitively with multiple layers of oil paint, turpentine washes and gestural marks that saturate the canvas. I employ a responsive use of time and gravity to achieve surfaces that are luminous, translucent, and show evidence of the artist’s hand and the process of their own making. The resultant works explore the complexity of color – its elusiveness and response to light – but they also reveal an inherent tension that occurs in the interstitial space between each contrasting layer. My paintings and site-specific pieces also explore the concept of what remains visible from my process, and equally important, what no longer remains.
CURRICULUM VITAE |||
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1996 MFA, Painting, University of New Orleans
1981 BFA, Painting, Newcomb College of Tulane University
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
The Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL
Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, New York, NY
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA
Ambassador Alexandra Papadopoulou, Athens, Greece
Iberia Bank Collection, Lafayette, Metairie and Shreveport, LA
Synovate Marketing, London, England, UK
The Catahoula Hotel, New Orleans, LA
Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, Commack, NY
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2017 You belong to me, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA
2015 Ritual Devotion, Zoya Tommy Contemporary, Houston, TX
2011 Washed (to the sea and other waters), Heriard-Cimino Gallery, New Orleans, LA
2009 Automatics, Heriard-Cimino Gallery, New Orleans, LA
2004 Linked: New Paintings, Heriard-Cimino Gallery, New Orleans, LA
2001 700 ft. square, Heriard-Cimino Gallery, New Orleans, LA