Fair market value: $1200
Hepler comes from a family of botanists, and beekeepers who structured their lives around the unpredictable movements and challenges of the natural world. This life, collaborating
explicitly with forces beyond ones control, establishes a dynamic of flexibility and
acceptance, or respect for the unknown. It is this same dynamic that drives and guides
Hepler's work. She builds sculptures as a way to draw, each line wrought from material, and cantilevered into space like a structure of thought, floating, hanging, slumping, standing. The drawings are pinched, squeezed, sawed, sewn, scratched, bent, stapled, taped, and
cut into being. It is a physical way of thinking, a call and response using common or found materials - the serendipitous fall-out of our consumer culture. The economy of materials is of central consideration in my work. Especially projects on an architectural or museum scale, she finds it only ethical to use what we throw away. The single-use waste stream gives way to sculptural installations tempered by the character of those materials, finding hidden beauty and meaning in our trash.
In the best instances, artwork is thought made evident; a mysterious and synthesis of the hand, mind, and eye, colliding with a gesture, an emotion - a blurry and unpredictable choreography away from what is familiar. Scrap wood becomes a woodcut. A woodcut becomes the blueprint for a large free-standing sculpture. A ceramic form is the subject for a series of drawings. An ink drawing is cut from plywood to stand alone. Disembodied polymer lines, like dousing rods, list and arch against the wall. From 2D to 3D and back again, each material exerting its specific behavior. Hepler's work cycles restlessly, capturing nothing but the dizzying in-between, suggesting that perception itself is fragile.
Anna Hepler was born in Boston, MA, and has been based in Maine since 2001. She received a BA from Oberlin College in 1992, and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994. She has spent time living and working in the Netherlands, South Korea, Cyprus, and Italy, exhibiting nationally and internationally. Hepler was a Henry Luce Foundation fellow in South Korea for one year, has received support from the Artist Resource Trust, the Roswell Artist in Residence Program, and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Maine Arts Commission in 2012. In 2017, Hepler was named the USA BARR Fellow and awarded $50,000 through the United States Artists Foundation.
Anna Hepler's work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Japan, the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, NM, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI, the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA, the Portland Museum of Art, The Roswell Museum of Art, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Nancy Margolis Gallery, NYC, University of Maine Museum of Art, Open Satellite in Bellvue, WA, Suyama Space in Seattle, WA, The Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, NM, and Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM. Her work is included in major public collections including National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Tate Gallery, London, England, and the Portland Museum of Art, ME.