Ana Zanic


Ana Zanic
High Fired Ceramics / installation
Variable dimensions

“Gathering” is a collection of over a hundred small vessels, incised with spontaneous marks and abstract drawings. They were made as contemplative and intimate objects, to be held in the palm of a hand, and are deeply connected with my childhood. All of them were created after I moved to the United States, over a course of several years. The city where I was born, Vinkovci, in Croatia, is rich with archeological findings. Many of these are richly engraved ceramic vessels from Vučedol culture, one that resided there from 3000-2200 BC. Additionally, down the street from our house lived an old potter whose entire garden was covered with masterful and simple vessels. I remember often watching him work and procuring some clay to play with. My everyday exposure to these various ceramic objects – the ones I saw in the museum and the ones from down the street alike, created in me a sense of continuity, and connection with the soil.

Once I had moved to the United States, eleven years ago, these childhood memories started becoming more vivid and a sense of broken connection replaced the previous feelings of continuity and familiarity. For me the act of creation of these small vessels, very primal and intimate, as well as the process of their accumulation, evokes my childhood, and is a reflection of an underlying search for reconstitution of what is familiar and comforting.


For me, making art has always been a search that allowed me to explore the formal visual elements, as well as my personal feelings, through an intuitive, spontaneous process.

My abstract paintings are executed in media of watercolor and acrylic. Watercolors are built with layers of washes, intermixed with dynamic lines, scribbles and marks of ink drawing. There is often a quiet tension between the watercolor’s fluidity, softness and calm, vs. the dynamic, rhythm and energy of drawing. With acrylics, the physicality of the process plays an important role – the paint is layered up, sometimes removed or wiped, then covered up again, resulting in a rich texture. While painting with watercolor evokes in me a feeling of quiet contemplation and intimacy, working with acrylic paint, on the other hand, gives me a sense of vitality through building and changing the work over a longer course of time.

In addition to painting, I am also fascinated with clay as one of the most natural and primal materials. My paintings and ceramic vessels share a common trait; they emerge from a process that is both controlled and accidental. I see this duality of my process as a metaphor for the duality of life, where certain things can be controlled and others just happen naturally, on their own.


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