Anya Kotler’s Sculpted Paintings Flicker Between Dimensions
“The satisfaction of giving form to the abstraction of thought and following instinctual insights […] with a sense of trust in their guidance never lets me down,” writes New Jersey-based multidisciplinary artist Anya Kotler in her artist statement. With trust and intuition guiding the way, Anya creates mind-boggling mixed-media work that oscillates between dimensions.
Anya was born in Ukraine, grew up in Israel, and now lives in New Jersey, where she builds her sculptural paintings in a studio in Hoboken. “My work explores the blurring between pictorial and physical space, corporeal forms and painted surfaces, clarity and doubt,” she says. Though bodies—human and nonhuman—are central to her work, she relies on material manipulation to design an ambiguous world where recognizable details are lost among the chaos.
Anya paints and arranges panels, uses a bas-relief technique, and introduces sculpted elements—like the arm in “Home”—to build multidimensional spaces that pull you into an immersive experience. “Painting of any sort has the mystical quality of revealing to us a parallel reality—one that captivates us and feels discontinuous with our own space,” she says. “Sculpture on the other hand, tends to exist right here, sharing our own floor and air. I am fascinated when these ‘mystical’ and ‘real’ spaces mingle, when objects seem to flicker between worlds.” Like a choose-your-own-adventure book packed with twists and turns, Anya’s work toggles between these realities at the drop of a hat.
As Anya synthesizes intangible thoughts, memories, and emotions into touchable, eye-popping works, she pushes herself and the viewer to a place of “unsettling strangeness.” Along the journey, she unveils the work’s hidden truth—and her own: “The work always turns out to be more honest than I intend [it] to be.”
“I am fascinated when these ‘mystical’ and ‘real’ spaces mingle, when objects seem to flicker between worlds.” — Anya Kotler
All photos published with permission of the artist(s).
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