Gouache, pencil on paper
8.5 x 8.5 in
This group of works by Anne Thompson is part of the Color-Word Value Index (2008-ongoing), a project designed to generate a series of interlocking bodies of work over time in a range of media: painting, drawing, video, artist’s books, and décor. Of interest is the modernist ideal of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or total artwork, (demonstrated by groups such as the Bauhaus and De Stijl) and how fine and decorative arts cohere when social groups brand themselves. The CWVI is a taxonomy of colors, words, symbols, and numbers based on color theory in psychology, mysticism, and early modernism. All CWVI work imagines a cultic belief in the properties of the Index—44 word pairings; 10 colors; 5 suits; values of positive, negative, and neutral; and a relativism that evokes chance and reversals such as mirroring, flipping, and doubling.
Anne Thompson’s artistic practice includes writing and curating. She is Director and Curator of the Suzanne Lemberg Usdan Gallery at Bennington College and on the visual arts faculty. During 2014-17, she founded and curated the I-70 Sign Show, a nationally recognized public art billboard and event project that positioned the Midwestern interstate as a site for cultural and political commentary. She has had solo exhibitions and projects in New York and Berlin; her work has been reviewed in the New York Times; and her artist books are in numerous public collections. She has been awarded fellowships at Epicenter; the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute; the Women’s Studio Workshop; the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service); the Oberpfaelzer Kuenstlerhaus, in Bavaria; and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Before receiving her MFA at Yale, Thompson was a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press.