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Alan Ebnother
Date: American, born 1952
Biography: Alan Ebnother began painting in the mid 1980s after a career in ballet, as a dancer and teacher, an occupation which brought him to Germany. His first monochrome paintings were an exploration of the white square, very much inspired by Robert Ryman. For many years, he was known as the artist who painting all green paintings. These green works demonstrated just how varied the hues of a color can be, and to concentrate on a single color allowed him to focus on perfecting his handling of the paint. He also became an expert on color, mixing and grinding his own dry pigments. He regards his practice as finding the "essence" of painting, as material and process. Ebnother moved to New Mexico in 2000 and built a studio in Stanley. "I basically moved to the desert in an attempt to completely open the surface of my paintings, and let the light out." The light in Germany was very different than in New Mexico, and he found that when he painted a work there and shipped it across the ocean to an exhibition in Santa Fe (at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art), it was as if he were seeing a different painting, the experience of the color was so different. Since moving to Santa Fe, Ebnother's painting has changed in several ways. Beginning in 2008, he slowly began incorporating other colors into his repertoire, including "April 14th, 2009". Windows into the paintings began to appear, allowing the viewer a way of "entering" the painting. That is, rather than an allover texture, there might be areas of different densities of brushstrokes or in some case even a view to a different color under-layer or the raw canvas itself. Lastly, Ebnother has also begun working with seriality, doing diptychs or multi-panel works. All three of these characteristics of his New Mexico period of painting are evident in "April 14th, 2009". (Ebnother dates all of his paintings with their date of completion.) Other artists who have influenced Ebnother are Yves Klein, Joseph Marioni, George Lawson, and Phil Sims. "I moved to New Mexico for the light and land inexpensive enough that I could afford to build a studio here. My studio is about 4000 square feet and twenty three feet high. I could actually construct an airplane in here. I designed it for the light, with all my attention going in this direction rather than for comfort. The light in here is the best that I have ever experienced! I was painting in Germany and then bringing works over to New Mexico for shows and seeing the actual color for the first time when hanging the painting up in New Mexico. German light is very grey and silvery but almost never bright and clear." (http://www.chrisashley.net/weblog/archives/week_2005_05_01.html#000778)
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