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  • Bianca Vinther

The Artist as an Explorer: ART TALK with Anne Brenner, Paris-based French painter

On Saturday, 16 April 2022, I had an inspiring conversation with Anne Brenner, French painter based in Paris. You can listen to my talk with her on The Pointless Artist Blog > PODCAST > ART TALKS > ART TALK with Anne Brenner, or on, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts > THE POINTLESS ARTIST PODCAST.

Here's a brief overview of Anne's work & adventures, and a summary of our recent conversation as a potential source of inspiration for you.

Picture of the Fren painter Anne Brenner in her studio in Paris.
Anne Brenner in her studio in Paris. Courtesy of the artist.

Anne has exhibited in prestigious venues, such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Royal Academy of Arts in London. She was also a winner of the distiguished Villa Medicis Hors-les-Murs grant, which allowed her to work for one year and a half, in the beginning of the 90's on the Ivory Coast in Africa.

From the time she studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and the Fine Arts University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, and to this day, Anne is deeply concerned about ecological issues. She’s a skilled observer, explorer, and painter of Nature, especially wild animals.

Anne approaches life in its infinite diversity with the zest, curiosity, and adventurousness of a 19th-century explorer although she doesn’t work distinctly as an explorer or a scientist but as an artist, which, to some extent, is the same thing. Therefore, her paintings are a sophisticated blend of creativity and natural science. Her inquisitiveness is contagious and her artistic process so authentic and spontaneous!

Photography of the French artist Anne Brenner in Africa.
Anne Brenner in the bush holding a large canvas with elephant footprints. Courtesy of the artist.

Her early works bear witness to the presence of animals in African virgin nature: silent traces of hippopotamuses, crocodiles, elephants, and other wild beauties are imprinted on large canvases as authentic testimonies of vibrant, perpetual life. They capture fleeting moments in the untamed wilderness of Africa connecting though life, art and science in subtle and profound ways.

Large canvas with elephant footprints by the French painter Anne Brenner
Large canvas with footprints of an elephant family (1990). Courtesy of the artist.

Anne's later works continue the exploration of wild life from a different angle: either by drawing in situ among kangaroos in Australia, or by capturing images of wild animals with infrared cameras in the Canadian forests and the Italian wild mountains – the Apennines, and using them as a source of inspiration for her oil paintings on canvas, such as the one below.

Observe the movement of this eagle with broad wings and the decorative pattern of Italian palaces, which covers nearly the entire surface of the painting.

Oil painting of an eagle with wide spread wings by the French painter Anne Brenner.
"Eagle in an Italian palace" (2022) by Anne Brenner. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.

Anne uses field work and silent observation to build her art, not as an intruder into nature's secret chambers, but as a humble yet curious discoverer. Her unique experience of tracking animals in Africa is a milestone in her career, which has paved the way for her further development as a wildlife painter.

I find her works simply beautiful – the colours, the forms, the compositions, the patterns she picked up from Italian palaces ... And I'm fascinated by her creative energy – that amazing force within her that doesn't give any room for artist block. I herewith invite you to take some time to contemplate her paintings and connect with the spirit of Anne's animals.

In this podcast episode, we spoke in depth about her creative process and the way in which she observes Nature. We also spoke about science, exploration, adventure, and the intricacies of tracking animals in the wilderness and producing a body of art works that are authentic testimonies of life itself.

Anne reveals here the secrets behind her works from the Ivory Coast, Canada, and the Italian Apennines. She also discusses the ways in which she connects with the natural world and her understanding of wild animals as invaluable creatures in their own integrity and as pendant to humans.

I wholeheartedly invite you to listen to my art talk with Anne Brenner on The Pointless Artist Blog > PODCAST > ART TALKS > ART TALK with Anne Brenner, or on, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts > THE POINTLESS ARTIST PODCAST, and to enjoy the adventure in the African bush, the Canadian forests, and the Italian wild mountains!

"You know you're truly alive when you're living among lions." (Karen Blixen, Out of Africa)
Photography of the French painter Anne Brenner in the Italian wild mountains.
Anne with one of her infrared cameras in the Apennines, Italy (2021). Courtesy of the artist.

Via The Pointless Artist Blog and Podcast, I support the creative energy of life and the artists who contribute to transforming this world into a freer, kinder, more inclusive, caring, transparent, and compassionate place to live. I firmly believe in the passion for art, the importance of sharing knowledge and experiences, and the power of personal stories to bring us together.

Thank you for reading this blog post till the end. If you’ve got something to add, please comment on this blog post below, drop me an e-mail, or pm me on Instagram @the_pointless_artist. I'd love to hear from you!


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Recognise your pointlessness and keep creating!

From Germany with love,

Bianca Vinther


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