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Anna Kunz: “Echolocation” and “Flood Tide”

In her new Echolocation prints, as in the previous Flood Tide monotypes (published by Manneken Press in 2021), Kunz again draws inspiration from the ocean; its hypnotic, rhythmic, cyclical movements and its sense of mystery. Kunz has referred to the ocean as “the most abstract space in nature”. These new works are titled after the physiological process known as echolocation, used by marine mammals and bats as an extension of sight to maneuver in space and identify objects. Kunz creates a visual equivalency between animals’ use of echoing sound as a means to navigate and locate, and her own use of vibrational hues as a way to compose, lead the viewer’s eye into unfamiliar relationships, and to materialize the unknown.

Through an intuitive process of call and response, Kunz focuses on elements of simple geometric forms and color, imbuing her compositions with energy and suggesting ways for the viewer to enter and navigate the compositional spaces. The saturated colors, both opaque and transparent, in Kunz’ vocabulary are choreographed in porous fields of the paper where they support symphonic compositional structures. While working at Manneken press, the studio, was filled with ambient music of Brian Eno which, by chance, created another kind of sonic inspiration for the echoing forms and colors found in the works.


Anna Kunz is a Chicago-based artist whose work encompasses painting, sculpture and installation. Grounded in a rigorous generative process, Kunz collapses hierarchies between media and sensory experiences, often using painted and dyed fabrics that function like nets to capture and manipulate light and color to create immersive environments. Her work is a testament to the continued possibilities for painting to create a space of contemplation, unification and joy. Kunz has also collaborated with architects, musicians and dancers to create spaces for dance and theatrical productions, including Merce Cunningham Dance Company, The Performance Collective and Industry of the Ordinary.

Anna Kunz has exhibited her work widely, including recent solo exhibitions at Alexander Berggruen Gallery, NYC; Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco; Galerie Urbane, Dallas; McCormick Gallery, Chicago. “Color Cast”, a large scale installation at the Hyde Park Art Center, was mounted in 2018. Her work is included in numerous public and private collections.

Kunz has served as a curatorial advisor for several private organizations and artists. She operated Kunz Vis Projects, a Chicago exhibition space, and is co-founding director of the national artist-run space Tiger Strikes Asteroid’s Chicago branch.

Kunz has been awarded numerous artist residencies, including the Golden Family Foundation Residency, Edward Albee Foundation Residency, the Space Program at Marie Sharpe Walsh Foundation and the Roger Brown Artist Residency. Kunz earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Northwestern University.

“My work is primarily composed through color and it’s contingency on light, time, space, and perspective. The colors become bodies leaning into, and supporting each other, the edges of the forms and boundaries are dissolved, building a 'compassionate geometry'. I hope to make immersive experiences that collapse the distance between viewer and artwork. The paintings and monotypes are created in a very active, and physical way, I hope they activate the spaces where they are installed. The color is positioned to move and breathe in a surrounding, static space.”

Anna Kunzartist