Open Studios: Avy Claire



Avy Claire has been busy. Mid-way through her residency she moved to a larger space and has ordered paper multiple times while at Mt. San Angelo. The result is a VCCA studio full of work—paintings hanging on the walls and sculptures resting on every flat surface and suspended from the ceiling.

Having worked in a variety of mediums, Claire is currently painting, and says,  “For the past few years I’ve been consciously focused on what a brush stroke does in a painting and how I could pare that down and get really spare.” While at VCCA, she has been experimenting with cutting out those brush strokes, wondering what would happen if they became objects that people could experience in three dimensional ways—even by walking around them.
To that end, Claire says she has been doing “a lot of tests.” By trying different paper, different weights of paper, and different adhesives, she has created pieces that work on the wall while at the same time have the potential of being cylinders. She has also experimented with forms and has several sculpted works as a result.

“The artist’s job is to play and to make things visable,” says Claire, admitting that too often, as she prepares for an exhibit, she finds herself getting in the way and editing as she works.  “I thought if I had a curator that I could just play the creativity game.”

Claire and her niece, a curator that runs a project space in Bushwick, will partner to prepare for her exhibit in August. The two have been pouring through Claire’s past work and found 22 year old drawings that they both feel relate a lot to her current focus and plan to include them in the show. “I have a certain kind of gesture and I also have this thing around mark making, which is, for me, somehow marking time, “ says Claire, “I think about my work in these spiraling cycles, so I revisit ideas a lot."

Fellows visiting Claire’s studio felt reminded of the spiraling, swooping fluidity of nature, similar to vines and trees. No surprise then that Avy Claire is also a professional landscaper. “I spend a lot of time looking at tree branches and one of my favorite activities is pruning. This work, cutting out the negative space around the brush strokes, feels a lot like pruning to me.”

For more of Claire’s work, visit avyclaire.com

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