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JOAN MITCHELL CENTER

In the Studio: ANASTASIA PELIAS

 

Anastasia Pelias is a New Orleans-based artist who was in residence at the Joan Mitchell Center during September 2020-January 2021. Filmed at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, 11/2020.

 

Videography & Editing: Dave Greber - vimeo.com/greber
Editing Assistance: Kendra Thompson
Production Assistance: Jeremy Jones

ARTIST INTERVIEW - ANASTASIA PELIAS  |||  Destiny is Destiny (sing my song)

ARTIST INTERVIEW - ANASTASIA PELIAS  |||  Per(sister)

ARTIST INTERVIEW McNay Art Museum - ANASTASIA PELIAS  |||  mama

PULL QUOTE

The ancient Greek concept about destiny and fate and the impossibility of subverting fate drive this work, as well as the concept of finding purpose in a turbulent and complicated world.

Biography

Biography

[New Orleans, LA ::: b.1959 New Orleans, LA]

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 and the spirit of exploration. Through a nuanced interpretation of paint, color, marks and ritual objects, Pelias unapologetically explores the overarching subjects of life, death, love, sex and the female experience. 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.

 

Anastasia Pelias received a BFA from Newcomb College of Tulane University, New Orleans (1981), and an MFA from the University of New Orleans (1996). She is a painter and sculptor whose work explores color and the tension between object and form. Pelias creates site-specific installations in which she examines personal history, familial relationships and human ritual. She draws from her Greek and New Orleanian heritage to infuse her work with her preferred subjects: love, sex, death, destiny, and the female experience. Pelias’ work invites viewers to immerse themselves in the expression of her story, but also to examine that story introspectively. Pelias has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions at galleries and museums nationwide, including the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio; Ford Foundation Gallery, New York; Pensacola Museum of Art; Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; Newcomb Art Museum, New Orleans; Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; and the Louisiana State University Museum of Art, Baton Rouge. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio; Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; Newcomb Museum, New Orleans; Mobile Museum of Art, Alabama, and in private and public collections around the world. 

STATEMENT

STATEMENT

In my studio practice, I unapologetically embrace subjects of love, sex, death, destiny, and the human experience - in particular the female experience. The dual cultural identity of both my native New Orleans and my ancestral roots in Skopelos Greece profoundly inform my work. Greek rituals and ideas about fate and destiny as well as the rich pageantry of the Afro-Caribbean culture in New Orleans are major influencing factors in my work. I am interested in deep ancestral connections that are ever-present, that resonate even if they are not always understood.

 

I embrace a process that is both intuitive and intentional. While I am working, I enter a space where I avoid conscious thought. I am drawn to content and meaning, abstraction and gesture, and the materiality of paint. Color and its emotional power is a critical component in all of my work.

 

I am an interdisciplinary artist – my bodies of work include oil paintings on canvas, works on paper, sculpture, video, and multi-dimensional site-specific and site-responsive installations. The human-size scale of my interactions with diverse media allows the viewer to immerse themselves in the work as opposed to simply being an observer. I consider all of my work to be painting, even though it may not look like painting. I believe in the power of painting and its ability to evoke a visceral response from the viewer, and to change how people see the world. I want to create work that is full of emotion and visual pleasure.

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae

EDUCATION
1996   MFA, Painting, University of New Orleans
1981   BFA, Painting, Newcomb College of Tulane University 

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX

Newcomb Art Museum, New Orleans, LA

Thomas and Dathel Coleman, St. Rose, LA

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

IMTT Sculpture Park, St. Rose, LA

Four Seasons, New Orleans, LA

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2021         Anastasia Screamed in Vain (painting on loss, longing and love), Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA

2019         Destiny is Destiny (sing my song), Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA
2018-9      mama, a site-specific installation, McNay Art Museum, commissioned by the museum, San Antonio, TX

2017         Sisters, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA

2015         Reckless Daughter (in real time), Octavia Art Gallery, Houston, TX
2013         Ritual Devotion (Two), Octavia Art Gallery, New Orleans, LA (catalogue)
                 Ritual Devotion, Zoya Tommy Contemporary, Houston, TX (catalogue)
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

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2021-22    Prospect.5: Yesterday we said tomorrow, curated by Diana Nawi and Naima Keith, New Orleans, LA

2020         INSPIRATION IN ISOLATION: Works From Cancelled And Postponed Exhibitions + Works Made In

                 Quarantine, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA

                 Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women of Louisiana, Ford Foundation Gallery/ Ford Foundation, curated by

                 Monica-Ramirez-Montagut, New York, NY

2019         Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women of Louisiana, Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University, curated by

                 Monica Ramirez-Montagut and Laura Blereau, New Orleans, LA

                 Vessels of Mercy, Vessels of Wrath, Barrister’s Gallery, curated by Serge Loncar, New Orleans, LA

                 The Whole Drum Will Sound, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA
                 Constructing the Break, Whitney White Linen Night, Contemporary Arts Center, curated

                 by Allison M. Glenn, New Orleans, LA

 

SITE-SPECIFIC + SITE-RESPONSIVE INSTALLATIONS

2020         The Odeon Mural, Domain Companies commission, The Odeon at South Market, New Orleans, LA

2019         Etsi Einai I Zoë (So is Life), supported by the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts, Skopelos, Greece

2018-19    mama, McNay Art Museum, commissioned by the museum, San Antonio, TX

2016         Send the power through the foam, Mermaid Lounge Reunion, The Truck Farm, New Orleans, LA

2015         Poydras Painting, Crevasse 22, Prospect.3 Satellite, Poydras, LA

 

SELECTED RESIDENCIES + AWARDS + GRANTS

2021         The Mellon Foundation Monuments Project Grant supporting Prospect.5 commission

2020-21    Artist in Residence, The Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans, LA

2019         Artist in Residence, The Skopelos Foundation for the Arts, Skopelos, Greece
                 Visiting Artist, University of Colorado Denver

2018         Artist in Residence, The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, Rabun Gap, GA

2017         Selected Artist, New American Paintings, No. 130, 2017, The Open Studio Press, curated

                 by Veronica Roberts
 

Odeon SM Mural

Odeon SM Mural