Anya Fisher (born Anya Mikhailovna Lieberzon) was born into a prosperous family in Odessa, Russia in 1905. Identified as a musical prodigy when she was very young, she played with adults from the age of five and later took lessons at the Music Conservatory of Odessa. In 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution arrived in Odessa, resulting in a historic massacre that took the life of Anya’s father. Anya escaped and went to live with an uncle in Minnesota.
While there, she studied at the MacPhail School of Music and played with the Minnesota Symphony. Eventually, she won a scholarship to study at the Music Conservatory at Fontainbleau. When money was unavailable to fund her travel and stay, she quit music forever and moved to New York. She married a wealthy man named Lubetkin and explored the bohemian, artistic subculture of Greenwich Village during the 1930s.
When their marriage failed, Anya moved out to San Francisco, where she earned her living writing art reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle. While there, she met the love of her life, Eddie Fisher, and moved to Los Angeles.
In 1947, she began to pursue painting and drawing more seriously in private study with the leader of the Los Angeles avant garde, Rico Lebrun. In 1948, she enrolled at Jepson Art Institute, earning high marks in every class. She graduated with an MFA in 1951 and took a job at LACMA to fund a year of study at the Académie Grand Chaumière in 1952.
Upon her return, Anya found opportunities severely limited for women artists in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, she developed important relationships with artists like Betye and Dick Saar and Frederick Hammersley in those years and went on to an active exhibition schedule with solo exhibitions at the Pasadena Art Museum and Long Beach Museum of Art, among others.
Anya Fisher wrote and illustrated numerous books of poetry and taught private art classes until the end of her life. She left behind a body of literature, a fair-sized cache of paintings, drawings, and works in mixed media, and numerous works in ceramic. She passed away in 1992.
2:46 | Narrated by Jeremy Tessmer | Released for THE DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENTS, 2015
3:04 | Narrated by Jeremy Tessmer | Released by ANYA FISHER: The Freedom to Paint, 2014
3:21 | Narrated by Frank Goss | Released for ANYA FISHER: Kaleidoscope, 2012
2:46 | Narrated by Susan Bush | Released for ANYA FISHER: Bathed in Light, 2010
3:33 | Narrated by Jeremy Tessmer | Released for CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF ART, 2014
1947 Private Study with Rico Lebrun
1951 M.F.A., Jepson Art Institute, Los Angeles
1952-1953 Academie de Grand Chaumiere, Paris
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, California
Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California
Sullivan Goss private collection
Solo Exhibitions (selected list):
2014 - "Anya Fisher: Freedom to Paint", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2010 - "Anya Fisher: Bathed in Light", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2007 - "Anya Fisher: Soft Edge | Hard Edge", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2005 - "Anya Fisher", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2003 - "Ceramic Sculpture", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2001 - Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Montecito, CA
1984,1985, 1986 - Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Sierra Madre, CA
1983 - Pasadena Public Library, Pasadena, CA
1975 - Jack Carr Gallery, Pasadena, CA
1974 - Pasadena Society of Artists at Pacific Culture Museum, Pasadena, CA
1969 - University of Southern CA
1964 - Manhattan Galleries
1959 - Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA
1958 - Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, CA
1951 - Anthes Gallery, Los Angeles
1950 - Forsythe Gallery, Los Angeles
Group Exhibitions (selected list):
2007 - "1957", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2006 - "Currents and Concurrence", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2006 - "Great American Modernism, 2006", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2006 - "Palm Springs Modernism Show, 2006", Palm Springs, CA
2002 - "The History of the Nude in the Art of California", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Montecito, CA
1964 - 1986 - annual Pasadena Society of Artists
1967, 1968 - Japan, Formosa
1967 - Pasadena Museum of Art, Pasadena, California
1958 - Exodus Gallery, San Pedro, CA
1954 - Drawing Show, Claremont College, Redlands, CA
1949 - National Orange Show, San Bernardino, CA
1948 - National Drawing Show, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA