Elise Ansel’s work references historical masterpieces, transforming their visual language into a fresh iteration of Abstract Expressionist sensibility. Her physically charged paintings, at once forceful and lyrical, recapture the spontaneity of Franz Kline, the vivid palette of de Kooning and Richter, the intense often disquieting visual poetry of Joan Mitchell and Frank Auerbach.

For Ansel,the act of painting represents an alternative way of seeing, allowing her to engage in an intimate dialogue with her source and to comprehend it on a more profound level. By translating her discoveries of spiritual intentions, psychological and emotional impact into abstraction, Ansel’s paintings succeed in capturing glimpses of the original content. As a result, her works not only serve as a point of departure from the Old Master context, but also as a celebration of [its] values, knowledge and techniques…[1]

Born in New York City, Elise Ansel received her BA from Brown University and her MFA from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Ansel was included in the 2018 Portland Biennial, and featured in an exhibition at the David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University in 2018. In 2016, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art presented Distant Mirrors, an exhibition of her paintings and drawings. Ansel has exhibited widely in the United States and England. Her work is in the permanent collections of Brown University, Bowdoin College, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kraków, MOCAK, Poland, the Eli Lilly Foundation and Sopwell House, St. Albans. Elise Ansel lives and works in Portland, Maine. 

[1]Buhmann, Stephanie, “Dissecting the Familiar,” 2018.