Anne Tanner: The Brilliance of Colour

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Anne Tanner trained at the Manchester Royal College of Music as a singer, but ended up finding fame in the late seventies for her innovative kinetic sculptures. Partially inspired by one of her daughter’s school projects, she painted complex geometric designs on electrophoretically prepared aluminium constructions. Each remarkable piece had three possible patterns that only revealed themselves as the viewpoint changed.

Although these mathematical structures proved incredibly popular, Tanner felt gradually drawn back to freer ways of expression. Art, music and mathematics were always closely linked for the artist, and her latest works push this idea even further. Her recent abstracts for Hay Hill Gallery follow in the footsteps of synaesthetes such as Klee, Kandinsky and Baranov-Rossine: Just as these artists sought to provoke a ‘vibration in the soul’ by linking art and music, so Tanner’s compositions create a plethora of sensations in her viewers.  

These sculptural-paintings hang freely from poles; offered as bright sheets of music to be unraveled or decoded with the eye. The colours float over land like cumulus or cirrus clouds; warm and cool fronts collide, eddies, water spouts and dust devils move through space. Like satellite images of distant galaxies, the canvases are made up of swirling atmospheres and fantastic colours.

By translating her sonic experiences into visually open rhythms, Tanner creates a sense of resonant tranquility. Using symmetry, colour theory, pattern and a special technique, Tanner allows the edges of the canvas to follow their own painted shape- not the traditionally rigid frame. Inevitably, this literal reworking of boundaries places full emphasis on colour psychology: Brilliant- in every sense of the word.