Headlands Center for the Arts

Anna Betbeze

california | visual
Chiaro Award Program 2020

Artist Statement

For many years, my work has been involved in experiential processes that push against the limits of language and outward into new directions in painterly form. I’m interested in histories of color: the social, psychological, and bodily factors that determine perception and define the scope of the human sensorium. A significant part of my work is to conjoin vision and touch into a singular experience. Exploration of touch and sensation feels particularly urgent as a means to critique, destabilize, and de-center the dominance of visual perception in contemporary culture. We exist within a world that is increasingly circumscribed by the optics of digital technology, and its concomitant limitations and expansions of the perceivable world. My research is digested, scrambled, and renewed in the studio through daily experiments with densely layered optical mixing and haptic sensation, through which I consider the ephemerality of lived experience alongside the supposed deathlessness of artistic creation.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands I will focus on a new body of work, looking at the relationship between color and movement as a way to connect painting to the idea of liveness of liveliness. The landscape surrounding Headlands will be a wonderful setting to reconsider the optical mixing technologies employed by French impressionists, who looked to color in nature and the movement and refraction of light on surfaces to create pictures that were felt rather than merely seen.

Selected Works