"Blue Sky’s Artists Push the Limits", NY ARTS MAGAZINE - November /December Isseue, 2004
By Megan Manni
Amy Cohen Banker creates many different types of pieces depending on the inspiration she feels. Her work is reminiscent of Miro in its mixture of abstract line and color. The death of her daughter from Hodgkin’s disease brought an oil, ink and watercolor creation. Operas like Fidelio, Tosca, and Electra brought on ink, gold leaf and bronze paintings on handmade paper. Observations of activity on the Lower East Side of Manhattan brought interpretive oil paintings on linen, much the same way Picasso would take in a scene and reproduce it from his mind’s eye back in his studio. (...) TO READ A FULL ARTICLE - CLICK HERE ->
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THE WHEELS AND DEALS IN MOTION
The paintings of Amy Banker continue and extend the tradition of the New York School. Her oil and acrylic paintings assert, in their energetic gestures and colors, the ongoing strength of a style which remains vigorous and also truthful in regard to contemporary urban life, in particular that of New York.
Banker, a New Yorker who studied with Knox Martin for ten years, has developed an idiom which recalls the vigor and hue of the vigor and hue of the Abstract Expressionist masters, de Kooning and early Pollock especially. At the same time , her forthright, engaging style takes its cue from nature, her recent efforts include a study of an aloe plant, an apple orchard even a boy on a bicycle.
Banker’s method, then, lies in a painterly treatment of real things , such that the abstraction never becomes a flight of its own. Her brushstrokes project feeling in the form of affection for the physical act of painting , its ability to record the gesture as a material decision. At the same time, her art seeks a grand ground, one in which color and composition are used for their ability to connect with a mythic truthfulness.
While Banker’s logic remains resolutely painterly, her art speaks to a search for the real, as much as it exists in mind as it does in nature, While her art reflects the formal and psychological investigations of a woman coming to terms with many influences among them philosophy, poetry, music, and myth she remains committed to painting, its ability to convey feeling and thought, the world that is real and the world that is imagined.
- Jonathan Goodman
EXPRESSIONS ABOUT AMY COHEN BANKER
"Form for me is never abstract. It is always a token of something; for me it is never an end in itself."
"Your work is bold, imaginative and unique."
-Laura Heon, Associate Curator, Mass Moca
"Her education and art background is extraordinary in range. I'd rate her 24 - karat gold!"
-Richard Barr, MOMA
"Her work is cosmic and spiritual."
-Elizabeth Liberty, Executive Board Member, International PEN
"She will be a leading force in the 21st Century Art World. She has earned admiration and respect as a distinguished American artist."
"Her work and talent is multidisciplinary, adaptive, innovative, addressing integrative, quantitative and qualitative forms from a broad continuum of multidisciplinary approaches from the physical, life, social and behavioral sciences to problem solving. She is concerned with translating her findings into meaningful and effective ways to improve the lives of children, families and communities."
-Jerome Ziegler, Dean Emeritus. Cornell University
"Banker's method, then, lies in a painterly treatment of real things, such that the abstraction never becomes a flight of its own. Her brushstrokes project feeling in the form of affection-for the physical act of painting, its ability to record the gesture as a material decision. At the same time, her art seeks a grand ground, one in which color and composition are used for their ability to connect with a mythic truthfulness. While Banker's logic remains resolutely painterly, her art speaks to a search for the real, as much as it exists in mind as it does in nature. While her art reflects the formal and psychological investigations of a woman coming to terms with many influences- among them philosophy, poetry, music, and myth-she remains committed to painting, its ability to convey feeling and thought, the world that is real and the world that is imagined." Jonathan Goodman
"Though best described as an Abstract Impressionist, Banker draws inspiration from the parent movement in a way that confirms its immortality while at the same time pointing to its future development. She is an American building on America's first contribution to Modernism. "
-Vivien Raynor, Contributing Critic for the New York Times
I work in a variety of mediums: acrylic, oil, pastels, aquarelle, oil sticks, varnishes, glazes, finishing and surface techniques. I am exploring basic issues of opacity, color, form, depth, obfuscation and revelation in life, language and in art-- I can not help but be influenced by philosophy, poetry, literature, psychological symbolism, fairy tales, music , myths, conceits, and metaphors, especially of strong feminist models-- women’s conflicting roles in a changing time throughout the centuries.
I am using background in design, 2nd and 3rd dimensional techniques and aesthetics. My background is integrated with my writing, psychology, my early childhood and life experiences evolving as a woman and mother combining international study to explore these issues in an organized but abstract way. I tend to reinvent the same themes, work from a structure and then proceed by distressing, demolishing, recreating and saving. My major themes are inner restoration and survival, challenging always reality vs. myth