Art — Anne Dufresne

Anne Dufresne

by Michelle Saturley

A return engagement

Anne Dufresne stars in solo show at Franco-American Center

She’s back by popular demand: Manchester native Anne Dufresne will bring new work to the Franco-American Centre, Feb. 2 through March 25. Dufresne lives in Italy, and will not be able to attend the opening in person. Her portfolio is managed here in the States by McGowan Fine Art Gallery in Concord.

Dufresne says her life as an artist has changed since she made the move to Europe.

“My life and my art has changed, because as a landscape painter, the landscape has changed,” she said. “I now live in Ravenna, Italy, where it is very flat and has a very particular light. Back home, I drew inspiration from the mountains and light of New Hampshire. Now, it’s the Tuscany Mountains that inspire me.”

Dufresne’s newest contemporary paintings reflect her background as a textile design graduate at the Rhode Island School of Design. The abstracted landscapes in her new collection show the effects of some of her influences — the romantic painters Albert Ryder Pinkham, George Innes and Whistler. However, Dufresne’s style of application to the surface of the panels is purely her own creation. She uses multiple layers of gesso paint to catch the pigment, creating several luminous layers of colors and a seemingly woven texture. Instead of a brush, she paints with rags. The result is a moody, three-dimensional feel that captures her favorite time of evening.

“Anne is one of those artists whose work just captures your attention immediately,” said Yvonne Cyr Bresnahan, executive director at the Franco American Centre. “We’re sad that she can’t be here for the opening, but thrilled to have her work here again.”

Dufresne says there are a few things about her hometown that she misses.

“What I miss most about home is my family and friends,” she said. “Not so much the culture at this point. There is the language difficulty, and learning the ins and outs of everyday living here. The Italians I’ve met so far are extremely friendly and helpful, which makes my life as a foreigner easier.”

The Dufresne show kicks off the 2005 season at the FAC, one that will include some new work by old friends, as well as some new faces. Bresnahan said she received a helping hand from NHIA photography chair Gary Samson, an established artist in his own right, in selecting the artists this year.

The Franco American Centre (669-4045) is located at 52 Concord St. For more information on Anne Dufresne’s work, call the McGowan Fine Art Gallery in Concord at 225-2515.

-Michelle Saturley

2005 HippoPress LLC | Manchester, NH