Anne Brawer Schwartz is a dedicated abstractionist whose painterly imagination remains grounded in the world of places and things. While pursuing a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Oregon and further studies at the Gemological Institute of America, Schwartz always maintained a painting practice, which she kept up during her 25-year career as a renowned couture jewelry designer. The legacy of her expertise as a designer is apparent in her abstract paintings and their considerations of detail, drawing, design principles, color, texture, and refracted light. Having some years ago rededicated herself to her painting studio, today her canvases have been shown in numerous group shows and are represented in collections around the world. She frequently works with art consultants and interior designers, placing her works in businesses, hotels, private homes, and design firms. Being based in LA, her paintings have naturally also been featured in numerous television shows and motion pictures.
Approaching art history with a flair for abstract expressivity and a designer's confidence in choreographing fundamentals of color and shape, Schwartz wields a palette knife along with brushes to animate prismatic color stories in thickly applied oil paint. Her Crystal Auras series are opalescent mixed media paintings created with countless layers of acrylic saturated with mica, interference pigment, and natural minerals that glisten like geodes, and bounce light across their auric topographies. Her largest project, Ricordi d'Italia, merges her explorations of the mellifluous properties of color, light, and surface with direct inspiration drawn from travels to Italy. While these paintings still possess the ethereal presence of Crystal Auras, they demonstrate a more formally definitive, architectural sensibility, being derived from photographic source sketches highlighting geometric details culled from vistas and ruins. At the same time, operations of memory, deconstruction, and fantasy combine to render them in an abstract language, producing moody palimpsests and evocative scenic impressions. In the Burst collection, we see small, intimate sections of works from Ricordi d'Italia enlarged into wholly new paintings -- gestural compositions whose exotic rhythms are deeply influenced by her studies of Asian Sumi-e ink painting, which reveal their inner lives as she teases their essences forward from within their faceted depths. With Shapes, Schwartz's newest series, paintings contain simpler sculptured shapes derived from memories of her jewelry designing career. Here, vibrant colors define sleek forms and gem-like angles that clarify and contrast with each other and with the flowing, organic forms introduced in Burst. Yet, befitting of their inspirational source, the elegant lines and crystalline planes complement each other in the way that the elements of fine jewelry meld to fashion an exquisite whole.