Anne Marchand was born in New Orleans. She majored in art at Auburn University, graduating with a BA in 1971, and then earned an MFA from the University of Georgia in 1975. Her early artistic focus was the figure, and she was especially drawn to the work of Francis Bacon for his expressive paintings of the human body.
Marchand’s other early influences include 20th century modernist painters, the Abstract Expressionists, and the work of Carl Jung, with his reflections on dream imagery and psychological states. She credits her upbringing in New Orleans for her sensitivity to, “a sense of awe at the power and majesty of nature.” The art of other cultures has been an important inspiration, particularly the petroglyphs and the sacred practices of the Native Americans of the Southwest, which informed three series of works and related exhibitions in the 1980s.
During the 1990s, Marchand worked in a variety of mediums on paper in loose gestural strokes, using symbols from the Southwest, nature, and dance movements. In 2001, she won a commission for a public art project in Washington, DC, a large-scale mural based on her Cityscape paintings, and other public projects would follow.
In 2005 Marchand’s Ellipsis paintings, with their arcing lines and vivid color, expressed her desire to create “cosmoscapes”, inspired by deep space. Mystical themes came to the fore in the paintings, stimulated by readings by Garcia Lorca, Kandinsky, and Rumi. Travel to India brought a range of new color palettes and fabrics that she incorporated into her work.
Beginning in 2010, Marchand began experimenting in paintings with acrylic mediums and interference and pearlescent pigments. With these materials, qualities of radiance and light became active metaphors reflecting an inner state of being. Images of planets from the Hubble telescope inspired the painter to introduce circular imagery into her work. The nebulas and galaxies suggested biological structures, and Marchand realized the connection between space and the body as manifestations of the same universal energy.
In a series of small works beginning in 2013, Marchand investigated layering paint and other materials embedded in the surface. At the beginning of 2016, with a residency at the Project Space in Mt. Rainier, MD, her work increased in scale, using a process driven by the flow of liquid paint. The new work is underpinned by a structure of geometric fabrics embedded under translucent paint, anchoring paint and charcoal marks, thread, glass beads, and other elements.
Marchand has exhibited her work extensively in solo exhibitions at Zenith Gallery, Washington, DC; Montgomery College, Silver Spring, MD; Green Chalk Contemporary, Monterey, CA, and in group exhibitions at Porter Contemporary, New York; American University Museum, Washington, DC, Blackrock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD; Longview Gallery, Washington, DC and McLean Project for the Arts, McLean VA.
Marchand’s work is published in 100 Artists of the Mid Atlantic, Art Voices Magazine, Artists Homes and Studios,Studio Visit Magazine, and Object Lessons, Beauty and Meaning in Art. She is recipient of an Artist Fellowship 2018 from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.