Anne Tabachnick

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Anne Tabachnick (1927–1995) was an American expressionist painter whose unique, colorful style drew inspiration from the New York school of Abstract Expressionism, the Old Masters, and East Asian calligraphy painting.


Born in Derby, Connecticut, Anne Tabachnick spent most of her life living and working in New York City. She attended Hunter College, earning a B.A. in anthropology and art, and pursued graduate studies in art at the University of California, Berkeley (1951). After studying briefly with painter, Nell Blaine, Tabachnick was awarded a scholarship from the Hans Hofmann School in New York City and in Provincetown from February 1946 to August 1950. Tabachnick also studied with William Baziotes in 1961.


Belonging to the New York School, her work was often surprisingly figurative. A master of pintemento, Tabachnick explored a narrative of revision favoring thin applied areas of acrylic in insistent hues, through which strokes of charcoal defined the subject matter –still life, landscape, and figures.

Tabachnick embraced her sources, citing a commitment to "art about art." In addition to adapting the Abstract Expressionist ethos to suit her needs, Tabachnick was adept at learning the lessons of what she called “The Grand Tradition” of European Masters; especially El Greco, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse. There is evidence in her work of even older sources, like Mai-Mai Sze’s seventeenth century Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting, which is clearly present in her adaptation of calligraphic line-making and vertical space.

A self-described lyrical expressionist Tabachnick maintained lifelong friendships with Leland Bell, Louisa Matthiasdottir, Jane Freilicher, Larry Rivers, Bob Thompson and, especially, Robert De Niro, Sr.

Along with some two dozen solo shows, Anne Tabachnick's many honors and awards include the Longview Foundation Award (1960), grants from Radcliffe’s Bunting Institute (1967 and 1969), grants from the Creative Artists Program (1975 and 1978), the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation (1982) and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (1983). In 1985, Tabachnick was appointed artist in residence at Altos de Chavón in the Dominican Republic and received numerous invitations to the MacDowell and Yaddo art colonies. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the National Academy of Design, the Hyde Collection (in a one-person show) and the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe.

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External links[edit]

Preston, George Nelson, "Against the Grain:The Paintings of Anne Tabachnick," Arts Magazine, 53: February 1979, pp. 154–155.