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Amy Sillman (born 1966)

Committed to the idea that painting is an interior dialogue, Amy Sillman creates abstract oil paintings that express her ideas, many of them incomplete, and many of them seeming to flow from childhood innocence. Some of her works are landscapes, and some are cityscapes.

Sillman was born in Detroit and graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1979 and in 1995, from Bard College with an M.F.A. There was a nearly 20 year interval between those accomplishments. During that time, living in Brooklyn, she got involved in a movement called Four Walls, an artist collective with Adam Simon, Michele Araujo, Mike Ballou and Claire Pentecoste. She shared a studio for 22 years with Laura Newman, but felt her work habits were pretty sloppy and decided to get more serious and to go back to school. At that time, her work was decorative, calligraphic, and ornate kind of drawing, and reflected her interest in William Morris of the Arts and Crafts Movement and in Japanese calligraphy.

Although her work habits have become more disciplined and her style more unified, she says: “I can simply say that I’ve always thrived on free association and other psychoanalytic ideas. In theory, free association explains it better than anythng else that I’ve been able to come up with.” (Brooklyn Rail)

Sources include:

Biography from the Archives of AskART