In an intriguing new series of cut-paper paintings, Chicago-based artist Ann Toebbe explores marriage from an architectural lens, unlocking memories of past relationships through detailed, two-dimensional portraits of domestic interiors. Titled "Remarried," Toebbe's works are flattened (and intentionally inexact) looks inside the homes where some of her friends and loved ones lived through their first or second marriages. Relying solely on what those people recall of their old apartments and houses, Toebbe carefully reconstructs the interiors, letting the poetic license of memory dictate which elements are omitted and which are exaggerated.
Toebbe once said she has a "knack for flattening space." While it "wasn't considered a great asset in my early training in drawing and painting but I have cultivated my skewed perception—often called folk or faux naïve—of space. I imagine objects flat first, then bend and fold them in creative ways to make everything fit in a given room." While some of the works depict a single room, others mash up the entire layout of an apartment in a barely coherent manner. All of them feature the kind of eerie detail that reminds viewers: some close approximation of what's shown was once a reality. A couple of sunflowers, some splayed out Uno cards, two mugs by the fireplace, and so on.
Check out more of "Remarried" at Ann Toebbe's website, or catch her work in person at New York's Monya Rowe Gallery.