Postcards of the Mind

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The New York Sun

Based in a Pennsylvania suburb, artist Anne Canfield makes frequent trips to Japan and Germany. Her home base in Landsowne, Pennsylvania, and the towns she visits during her travels abroad have inspired the delicately colored landscapes currently on view in a small show in the Project Room at Nancy Margolis Gallery.

Quiet neighborhoods around Philadelphia, Frankfurt and Tokyo are imbued with whimsy in these highly detailed pictures. Ms. Canfield’s playful compositions successfully combine the delicacy of Indian miniature painting with the bright palette of Japanese animation. Patchworks of textures, made with tiny pencil lines, describe grasses and shrubs, bushes and trees.

An empty driveway in the town of Idstein, Germany, is the setting for “Patiently, From the Window,” 2017, one of the works in this exhibit. Cobblestones glow with pastel color beside a two-story suburban house. The shed at the back of the driveway has a densely painted cobalt blue door while a hot pink tree fans out around a neighboring home perched above the shed. Bits of graffiti, a sticker on a window, add realism to this dreamy scene.

Though the artworks are based on real places in Kawasaki, Nagano, Berlin and Frankfurt, the compositions here are composites. Ms. Canfield explains, “each world is ultimately invented …Works are based on photos. I compose on the computer and the gist of the composition is established before I begin.”

Nevertheless, looking at these pictures, viewers may wonder whether they are admiring an artist’s imagination at work or if Ms. Canfield is simply finding the magic in the commonplace.


Image: “My Dreams Will Pull You Through the Garden Gate.”

Anne Canfield, on view through October 27, 2018, Nancy Margolis Gallery, 523 West 25th Street, New York, NY, 212-242-3013, More information about Xico Greenwald’s work can be found at

The New York Sun

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