One glance at artist Ann Chernow's canvases and it's no surprise why she has earned the title, ''The Queen of Noir."
Her body of work depicts a world where bad boys and bad girls reign supreme. Where pouty red-lipped sirens in ermine furs sip pink champagne while cigarette holders emit hazy clouds of smoke wafting through the room.
It's dark. It's decadent. It's (im)pure Chernow all the way, as the artist captures the seamy-side of life as she gets down and dirty with artistic perfection as her characters are let loose. It can be anything from a gangster blowing smoke off a revolver to a seamed-stocking platinum-haired moll, or a leggy wannabe starlet slinking from inside a doorway where danger lurks at every turn.
Chernow does "noir" like nobody else. She takes her coterie of characters from sleazy jazz bars to dimly-lit night clubs where the aroma of sex and cheap perfume is in the air. Chernow's latest "noir" exhibit based on the 1944 film: "Double Indemnity" exemplifies her talents and allows our fantasies to take flight. What Barbara Stanwyck does on screen, Ann Chernow does with art.
With Chernow at the artistic helm, we are kept riveted for decades as her "noir" offerings get darker and moodier with each stroke of her brush, pencils or palette knife. She continues to rack up awards and universal praise from both critics and fans alike.
Chernow was put on earth to keep us titillated, scared and romantically seduced. Long may she prevail as danger, desire and debauchery spill from each corner of her canvases. As a result, viewing her inspiring work, our own lives become that much more exciting and enriched.
Judith Marks-White is a an award-winning Westport News columnist, novelist and free-lance journalist. She is a contributing artist's reviewer for Westport Magazine and the Journal of the PrintWorld. Her articles have received awards from many organizations including the coveted Brandeis University Library recognition by the National Women's Committee for achievement in her field.
Herbert Lust, Author- The Graphics of Alberto Giacometti, Collector
“Chernow’s aesthetic vision defies pigeon-holing. She works in the tradition of artists who can be termed ‘painter/printmaker’ showing dedication to and consistency of production, as did Reginald Marsh and Isabel Bishop.”
Susan Granger, Syndicated Film Critic
“Chernow captures the subversive authenticity of the Film Noir genre. Her work evokes emotions of a particular time and place preserving an important part of American film history with sophistication and wit.”
Hilton Kramer, Art Critic The New York Observer and the New York Times
(reporting on the exhibiton ‘Disegno’ at the National Academy:)
“Among the artists whose work struck me as exceptions to this muddle is Ann Chernow for her three versions of the lithograph entitled “Summertime.”
Laura Einstein, Curator, Author
“Ann Chernow translates subject matter about Femmes Fatales into paintings, drawings and lithographs . In her Film Noir series, she creates portfolios of prints capturing each piece with pithy commentary, joining text and image.”
Deborah Frizzell, Independent Curator, author:
( Exhibtion at Uptown Gallery, New York City) (Queens College Chronicle)
“Chernow’s work is not about nostalgia for the past but about communication, psychlogical and social realities that influence the contemporary audience. By combining word and image,Chernow’s ‘Fictitious Icons’ transforms mythic film goddesses ...into ordinary women. And most important, they require us to finish their story. The work is serious fun.”
William Zimmer, Art Critic: The New York Times
“Installed in a chapel in St. Paul deVence, France, Ann Chernow’s grids of old movie stars images have some of the presence of Warhol’s multiple portraits.”
Richard Edwards, Professor of Film Studies
(Housatonic Museum of Art/ Noir exhibition of Chernow lithographs) from the Greenwich Time
"It’s as if you are wandering among a lost film archive, but these films have never existed. The images that surround us are powerful images of powerful women."
Ed McCormack, (critic for Gallery and Studio Magazine Gallery 220 exhibition)
“Not only are her ‘Bad Girls’ seductive and engaging, as well as technically accomplished, but Chernow demonstrates as few other contemporary art Printmakers do, that the medium of etching/aquatint can still make a vital and strikingly original contribution to the eclectic crazy quilt of postmodernism.”
Andrew Raferty, NA, Spoken Stories about Printed Stories at the National Academy
“Ann Chernow’s work illuminates the character of the unseen writer and implies a complex series of actions outside the time frame depicted in the print. The title is essential to full interpretation of the image.”
Georgi Kolev, Director, Lessedra Gallery and Museum, Sophia, Bulgaria
“Chernow is hooked on old movies, exploring their every visual aspect. She culls elements from original sources, then alters the images. Chernow builds the set, directs the drama and relates it to a larger social issue. This process is addressed with original vision, affection for subject matter and accomplished craftsmanship.”