My work migrates from the page to the wall, to the floor and into space; returning home before venturing back out again. Throughout, human experiences of place and landscape—including the colors, patterns, light, shapes, and shadows found across the natural world and the built environment—are explored through the lens of contemporary painting.
Source materials such as photographs, sketches, and maps of patterns—including immigration routes, population density, and topography—are my starting point, with additional sources including my experiences with places I have lived, visited, and researched. I frequently revisit older works to find the small moments within them that might resonate at a different scale. My process is many-layered. When making works on paper and panel, I digitally trace and combine elements from these sources before etching the resulting images into the surfaces of paper or Masonite panels. Those surfaces are then layered with shapes and colors drawn from the original sources, airbrushed in acrylic paint. Shapes and colors are pulled forward and back from one work to the next such that a common language emerges.
When making a collage or installation, the shapes from the laser-etched patterns are isolated, cut out, combined, and layered. These works are built from materials ranging from adhesive vinyl applied directly to windows, translucent light gels, sheets of luminous acrylic, chipboard, wood, and other materials. Each material is a flat building block combined with the others, creating dimensional paintings that inhabit the spaces in which they are installed. Intricate line work interwoven with vibrant color and alternating passages of transparency and opacity are common threads. With larger-scale and public works, site-responsiveness is critical. Such projects begin with on-site research and with the people who use and pass through it, as well as evaluating the natural forces that it experiences, such as wind and water. This process ensures that each piece remains in dialogue with its community, its history, and with its site. Across media, I work to craft new places out of existing ones, and to reframe the way we experience and see the spaces with which we are familiar.
Ultimately, all the work emerges from the history of representing and understanding landscapes and places; the lives and memories of the people who move within such spaces; and the patterns and imprints we leave upon and learn from the world around us.
Ann Tarantino is an artist working across drawing, painting, installation, and site-specific works of public art. Her work has been exhibited widely in the US and overseas, and has appeared in settings ranging from museums and galleries to botanical gardens and city streets. Recent exhibitions and projects include commissions for the Pittsburgh International Airport, collaborations with the Borough of Millvale, PA and Pittsburgh’s Office of Public Art; Cloud Countries, a new installation created for the Pittsburgh International Airport; a public-scale painting commissioned by the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority’s DotART program; and a solo exhibition of new paintings with Davis Editions (Phoenix, AZ).
She was featured in New American Paintings in 2005 and 2007, and was a 2016-17 recipient of a Fulbright Core Scholar Award for artistic practice in Brazil. Tarantino earned an honors degree in Visual Arts from Brown University and a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in Painting from The Pennsylvania State University.