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 Anne Coe  (1949 - )

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Lived/Active: Arizona/Nevada      Known for: fantastic animal genre in west

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Ad Code: 3
Anne Coe
from Auction House Records.
Keeping Cool
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Henderson, Nevada, Anne Coe is a conservation-minded painter whose work combines narratives of exaggerated landscapes with stylized animals such as huge gila monsters or fez wearing monkeys.  She lifts concepts from western art and explores the relationship between the wild desert and urban life.  One of her themes which she expresses in comic allegories is the delusion of human beings that they are the superior species and that they are in control.

Coe earned a BA in 1970 and an MA in 1980 from Arizona State University.  She did mural designs for McDonald's Corporation and Warner Brothers, and from 1977 to 1980 was Arts Producer for KAET-TV in Phoenix.  With a studio in Apache Junction, she has also been an art faculty member at Arizona State University.

Michael Sarda, Faces of Arizona
Peter Hassrick, Drawn to Yellowstone

Biography from West Valley Art Museum:

Growing up on a ranch in the middle of Southern Arizona and a fourth generation Arizonan, Coe reflects the influence of the desert and its tenacious wildlife throughout her painting.  And while fez-wearing monkeys and elephants aren’t native to her desert and Gila Monsters do not grow to the height of small buildings, the spirit of the all knowing animals that populate her iconography remains.

Throughout her career the underlying theme of her paintings has been one of preservation of species and humanity’s reckless abandonment of concern for the environment.  Secondary to that would be a sheer astonishment over humanity’s wholesale and uncritical acceptance of everything technological.  Adopting an almost joking manner of subject treatment and a surrealists’ penchant for the bizarre juxtaposition of objects both animate and inanimate, Coe manages to tread a fine line between being perfectly plain in her meaning to being near obscure.
West Valley Art Museum held an exhibition of her work in 2003 that contained such thought-provoking images in paintings titled “Preemptive Strike” and “Covert Operations”. The Museum owns the work “Half Life” that contains the fez-wearing monkey handling spent nuclear fuel rods.  The landscape is, of course, her beloved desert.

George Palovich, curator

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