Louisville native Anne Cooper Dobbins was a student at Washington University School of Fine Arts when she first met and studied under the abstract expressionist painter Stephen Pace. After she graduated, the two remained in touch and their student/teacher relationship evolved into a life-long friendship.
Pace grew up on a farm in Missouri and began drawing at a young age. When he became an adult, he traveled, met the American modern painter Milton Avery who convinced him to move to New York to become a serious artist. Pace moved to New York in 1947 when the infamous New York School was beginning to develop. This informal group of poets, artists, musicians and dancers drew inspiration from Surrealism ushering in the era of abstract expressionism, which Pace quickly became a part of.
Dobbins became a resident of Buck’s County, PA after living in Pace’s summer home in that area. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the country including; The Library of Congress, Silvermine Guild in Connecticut, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Speed Museum in Louisville, and the Poindexter Gallery in New York City.
Artist and curator John Begley paired the work of the two artists at the Cressman Center after learning about their lifelong relationship. Walking around the gallery it becomes hard to decipher which works are student and teacher because both offer beautiful representations of everyday life. Although their styles are clearly discernable, Pace uses bold and colorful strokes derivative of action painting and Dobbins uses a muted palette and large abstract shapes, their influence of each other is evident.
John Begley will be giving a gallery talk during the First Friday Trolley Hop Jan. 6th at 6 p.m. A reception will follow. The exhibit will be on view at the Cressman Center until January 21, 2012.
Anne Cooper Dobbins, "Untitled (cow painting)"
Stephen Pace, "Untitled (three horses)"
photo: Dobbins, "Portrait of a woman"