Anne Fischer (b. 1963) is a sculptor and designer who has developed innovative techniques for using wood, metal, plaster, wire and other media to create a wide range of sculptures, works on paper, cast-metal jewelry and original furniture.
Her hand-carved rings push beyond traditional three-dimensional surfaces: For several years she has been exploring how to combine poetic texts and blank spaces on these small forms in such a way that the unpredictable, the underneath of language, becomes conspicuous and, therefore, disrupts the superficial order. As a result of this process, each object speaks of the unknown that is always here but needs to be unearthed.
Her initial project Cantos: The Rings of Heaven and Hell, will ultimately consist of 34 Hell rings and 33 Heaven rings. That project was set in motion by her love of Dante’s Divina Commedia and of books as objects.
Although her current project Visit to an Extinct City evolved out of Cantos: The Rings of Heaven and Hell, the focus has shifted from the well-structured landscape of Dante’s poem to a space of uncertainty: the ruins of Ostia Antica, an extinct ancient city on the outskirts of Rome. These works reflect how her process of making objects altered after encountering the emptiness of Ostia. The questions unearthed in that place create an atmosphere of the uncanny on the objects which echoes that of ruins in an open field.
Based on her experience of what remains of the structures of Ostia, Fischer is now using plaster to build these objects. Plaster, unlike the bricks, marble, and concrete of ancient Rome, is a fragile building material. Each of her carvings becomes an unpredictable, albeit small-scale, excavation. The collection of plasters, which combine fresco-like colors, blank spaces, texts from more than one time/place, and etched lines, echo the landscape of the extinct city. Some of the plasters will be transformed into metal rings; the others will disappear in their own time.
Born in Vevey, Switzerland and raised in New York and New Jersey, Fischer currently lives and works in Union City, New Jersey.