Inge Klaps, Gallery Manager, Cumberland Gallery
Artist Bio: Lori Field
Lori Field is a self-taught artist who began her artistic career as an illustrator and textile designer living and working in New York City. She is well known for her detailed, almost obsessive colored-pencil drawings on rice paper and intricate silverpoint drawings on gessoed paper. Field has shown nationally and internationally and her work is in many collections, including the Montclair Art Museum, the Brodsky Center for Innovative Print and Paper, and the Newark Museum.
Field is represented in Nashville by Cumberland Gallery, www.cumberlandgallery.com.
Although I work with great art on a daily basis at Cumberland Gallery, it was difficult for me to decide which piece would tempt me to purchase. When I first noticed this miniature portrait by Lori Field, I was amazed by how much meaning and context could be unified in one object. When I found myself showing it to everyone, I decided this was it. It was time to buy my first work of art!
Anna Bollina is part of an invented mythological world which drives Lori Field’s oeuvre and where “otherness” is emphasized and celebrated. The peculiar nature of the figure is accentuated by an exotic headdress, the enlarged head, and an exaggerated suggestion of character. In this figure inspired by Anne Boleyn—an important and remarkable female figure in European history who was (wrongly, most would argue) beheaded —you sense an attitude that is challenging yet serene and fearless. Regardless of her vulnerability, showed by her open arms, closed eyes, and stretched-out neck, she radiates strength and beauty. Anna Bollina reminds us that we should embrace the full potential and qualities of “the other.” Having recently emigrated from Belgium myself and now experiencing the diverse melting pot that is the United States, the relevance of this piece to me is immediate.
The materials Lori employed are a found vintage Florentine wood panel and casein, a highly resistant type of paint used for murals since antiquity. With its jewel-toned finish and golden details, this referentially charged object also becomes a little everlasting gem.
From its formal properties to its social message, the multifaceted nature of this piece makes it essential art for me. Now that I have started my collection, I hope to acquire more work that can stimulate my thoughts as this one has.