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Kim Anno

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Name  Kim Anno

Kim Anno Kim Anno Painting Video Photography Projects

Interview with Kim Anno, artist/activist, part 1

Kim Anno (born December 19, 1958) is a Japanese-American abstract painter. Born in Los Angeles, California to Japanese-Polish and Native American-Irish parents, respectively, she studied at San Francisco State University, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1982. She was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1985 from the San Francisco Art Institute. Anno began working at the California College of the Arts in 1996 as an associate professor, and was chair of the painting department as of 2012.


Kim Anno KIM ANNO Photography

Early life

Kim Anno was raised next to the ocean on the west side of Los Angeles and came of age in the political flux of the 1970s. Anno’s father was a beatnik physicist and her mother a nurse and civil rights activist brought her to speeches by Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy where she was embedded in the "social upheaval and personal liberation" of the time. Anno was inspired by these activist mass gatherings, "whether cultural, like folk or rock-n-roll festivals, or political, such as the Chicano moratorium, Cambodian bombing protests, or the UFW’s Gallo boycott." Near by Dogtown Z boys were "inventing skateboarding" with Jeff Ho’s surf shop gang and Peggy Oki, LA’s feminist and conceptual art movement was in full swing, as was the beginning of the punk scene by the 80s, "the electricity of the time ignited [Anno's] creativity, it’s the current running through [her] work all the way to the present."


Anno works with a philosophy centered on expanding the function of art in society. Perhaps this credo began in her studies while attending the radical, non-accredited, women's art school, the Feminist Studio Workshop, in downtown Los Angeles. There she was influenced by the work of the graphic designer Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, and interdisciplinary artist Suzanne Lacy, both part of the Feminist art movement in the United States. Today, some of Anno's prominent artistic themes include ecology and climate change, the "joy and consequences of technology", and "the language of abstraction as it appears in religious and ritual art". Working on wood, aluminium and canvass surfaces, Anno has pushed her painting practice to explore the limits of abstraction. Her work shifted in 2008 when she allowed narrative into her process, revealing her interest in film and leading to her current interdisciplinary practice. Since then she has applied her painterly mark to working in short film and video installations, and has made several series of large-format photographs. Filmmaking and photography opened an entirely new horizon to reach a different, younger audience.


Exhibits and works that Anno has participated in include the Don’t Panic exhibition at the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Convention, Men and Women in Water Cities at the 2012 Convention, exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, and Women On the Silk Road, which travelled along the Silk Road network featuring artists influenced by Asian art and culture. She has been awarded the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Purchase Award, the Fleishhaker Fellowship, and further fellowships from the Open Circle Foundation and the Berkeley Film Foundation. Kim Anno is represented by the Patricial Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco, California since 2004; and the Marcia Wood Gallery in Atlanta, Gearogia, since 2009.


Kim Anno is a San Francisco Bay Area artist who has received commissions by the San Francisco Art Commission and the City of Oakland Public Art Commission. From 2010 to 2012 the Zellerbach Foundation and the SFMOMA Phillis Moldaw, commissioned Anno for new work. From 2007 to 2014 poet Anne Carson and Kim Anno collaborated on a series of three Limited edition Artist’s Books commissioned by Benedict’s/ St. John’s University One Crow Press: Sleep (2007); The Mirror of Simple Souls (2003); and The Albertine Workout (2014).


  • 1996-Current California College of Arts and Crafts, Associate Professor, Painting
  • 1995-96 University of California, Berkeley, Painting, Drawing
  • 1994-95 Stanford University, Visiting Lecturer, Painting/Drawing
  • 1993-96 San Francisco Art Institute, Visiting Artist, Painting 1994 California State University, Hayward, Lecturer, Painting
  • 1992-94 University of California, Berkeley, Lecturer, Painting, Drawing, Design
  • 1991 Louisiana State University, Assistant Professor, Painting and Drawing
  • 1990-91 California College of Arts and Crafts, Lecturer, Design
  • 1989-90 Ohio State University, Lecturer, Painting and Drawing
  • 1987-89 Instructor, Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA Color and Design 1986-85 Instructor, Napa Valley College, Napa, CA Painting and Drawing
  • References

    Kim Anno Wikipedia