Photography by David Benthal

Anne Sherwood Pundyk is a painter who brings together the traditions of abstract art, textiles and storytelling to create her fine art.

Her unstretched paintings reach high and wide. Stained sections of drop cloth canvas dangle telltale threads from their seems. Irregular downpours of color buckle the patched surfaces. Crip colored-pencil lines float amongst radiant circles and stripes. Together they test the roiling flows. She trades experimental methods between her intimate works on stitched paper and the larger canvases. Activated by color, each painting ultimately has its own improvised story. Elements of her studio work link directly to her photographs, artist’s books, writing and performance pieces.

Pundyk was first schooled in drawing as a child by her artist grandmother, centering her experience of art-making in the home. As a young girl she understood how to shape simple materials such as fabric and string to ground her thoughts. Her family frequently relocated throughout the US. Each move expanded her exposure to different facets of art and art history. She studied at The Corcoran School in Washington, DC and with the artist Sam Gilliam in her teens. She explored the light and color-focused California arts scene in Los Angeles and the museums of Paris in as a student at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. At RISD in Providence, RI as a graduate student she was guided by the artist Pat Adams and entered the vortex of tradition and contemporary invention on the east coast. She subsequently raised her own family with her husband in New York City.

Pundyk has engaged in her art making, exhibiting and art writing over the last 35 years. She relocated her studio to the North Fork ten years ago. The move has been the catalyst for a fundamental re-centering of her art around adapting everyday forms with an eye toward questioning convention. Operating beyond tradition has been hard won over many decades. Curator Helen A. Harrison observed, “…[Pundyk’s] work suggests that understanding requires another interpretive tool, or perhaps a personal surrender to a deeper, less accessible, level of cognition.” Now Pundyk’s unstretched paintings slip free from expectation.