Anna Chromy, Painter, Sculptor, Designer
Born on the banks of the river Moldava, which links my birthplace Cesky Krumlov with Prague, the birthplace of my mother, I am a child of the city. Beautiful Renaissance castles and Baroque churches left their mark when I was a little girl. When we had to leave our country, my last and most emotional adieu, was from my friends in stone on the famous Charles Bridge.
My youth in Salzburg and Vienna in Austria left me with a mother tongue and a passport for life, which, next to the denomination of the country, bears the title “European Union”. It also impregnated me with the heavenly melodies of Mozart, Schubert and other composers, which resurfaced later in my sculptural creations.
When I arrived in Paris, “The City of Light”, a whole new world overwhelmed my senses,- the Louvre, la “Civilisation Française” with their writers and existentialist philosophers, foreign artists like Dalì and Picasso, who had chosen the city as their home. I had to transform this shock into paintings if I did not want to implode. So I decided to attend the Beaux Arts and Academy de la Grande Chaumière.
Because of my three-dimensional way of drawing my professors soon tried to direct me towards sculpture, but to no avail. I wanted to paint and nothing else. But whatever influence I received in Paris, my Central European heritage soon came to the surface. The surrealism of Max Ernst, René Magritte, and Salvador Dali, my first great love in painting, gradually gave way to a more visionary approach, using soft, Turner-like, colors, close to the Vienna School of “Phantastic Realists”.
But, life is unpredictable and often cruel. So it happened that a severe accident prevented me from painting for six years, and as I don’t have a temperament to remain idle, at last I decided to try sculpture. By chance, I had by that time established my home on the Côte d’Azur close to the Italian border. Therefore, the center of sculpture in Pietrasanta and Carrara was in easy reach.
In Italy I immediately had the feeling of encountering parts of my roots again,- a strong religious belief, a country where life is a stage, and which abounds in artistic treasures wherever you tread.
Life had come full circle. Beauty was reaffirming itself in an almost mystical way. Ancient Greece and Rome, the Renaissance and Baroque of the Medici and the Popes, everything seemed to tell me “Anna don’t relent; fight evil and ugliness through inspired beauty. Go back to the roots of Europe, to the Ancient Myths and salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
The “Cloak of Conscience”, “Olympic Spirit”, Eurydice”, “Sisyphus”, “Prometheus”, “Gaia”, “Europe” and “Ulysses”, all part of the exhibition “Mythos Revisited”, first shown at the National Archeological Museum in Athens, and the contemporary interpretation of the myth of “ Europe” bear witness to my beliefs.
David Punter: This specific representation of Chromy’s (Cloak of Conscience)… does isolate and emphasise certain aspects of pity… Pity is located in the one left behind, in the one grieving, in the state of mourning, in the unending cry of the bereft. This is what Chromy’s image has distilled for our age.
It has taken Anna Chromy ten years of hard work to get to the point where she is now acknowledged by major arts curators and the interested public in China as a “Pioneer”, somebody who sets standards of what is currently popular or fashionable in the arts and design worlds.