In the Spotlight: Annie Rochelle

annie rochelle


Annie Rochelle is an emerging artist living and working in Knoxville, Tennessee. She is graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art with a BFA in Painting and Art History. Annie Rochelle is an artist whose work uses traditional forms of art making with contemporary aesthetics to highlight the deep issues at the heart of society’s relationship with the environment.


In the collage paintings titled ‘Chance Configurations’, realist traditional forms of art-making are married with chance based compositions. ‘Chance Configurations’ are vibrant with antithesis: irreverent and referential, chaotic and ordered, high and low art. Recently, found objects and historical imagery such as scientific illustration have found their way into her compositions. These works combine a soft nostalgic retrospection with the sharper reality and form.


With an education in art conservation and history, Rochelle’s facility with ‘Old Master’s’ style painting is irreverently combined with a Dadaist use of chance. Each ‘Chance Composition’ is decided by the roll of the die or flip of a coin, resulting in a series of triangles of randomized color, texture and image. A traditionally rendered image inspired or appropriated from art history is abruptly dissected by the kind of fluorescent mostly seen in traffic signs. ‘Chance Configuration’ represents the mentality of artist who has the skill set of a Renaissance draftsperson and Dadaist’s sense of composition.


With this template of the ‘Chance Configuration’, Rochelle is looking forward to works that utilize found objects, local color, tone, texture, nostalgic elements, and other ephemera to express a specific place and time. These works would not only address issues threatening our environment, natural and social, but actually ‘do something about it’. In the format of the ‘Chance Configuration’ composition, geometric abstraction meets plein air painting to address themes of social responsibility, sustainability, consumerism and environmental stewardship. The end goal would create pieces that clean up the environment they describe, while drawing attention to the needs of specific environments.


Moving into the future, Rochelle is using ideas of sustainability as her guiding light, making works that do real work in her environment.


Annie Rochelle’s work is a blend of many different dichotomies: old/new, high/low, soft/hard, traditional/contemporary, beautiful/utilitarian, serious/irreverent. In her artworks, Rochelle hopes to take these seemingly opposing forces to highlight shared experiences in the mind of the viewer.

Thank you, Annie.

Artist page


Instagram: @a.e.rochelle

Facebook: @Studio-of-A-E-Rochelle-348613809293175

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