Web Analytics

Press Release


Sullivan Goss announces ANYA FISHER: The Freedom to Paint, an exhibition of paintings from the late 1950s to the mid 1980s from the Estate of Pasadena bohemian, Anya Fisher.

Born in Odessa, Russia in 1905 to an affluent family, the young Anya Fisher showed precocious gifts for music. When the Bolshevik Revolution came to Odessa, Anya barely escaped with her life. Her father was not so fortunate. Relocating to Minnesota, Anya focused her energies again on her piano studies, only to abandon the whole endeavor when financial difficulties kept her from pursuing her art at the collegiate conservatory level. Instead, she married a man who was well off in Manhattan, using her spare time to explore the artistic subculture of Greenwich Village in the years of the Great Depression. Finding the marriage oppressive, Fisher eventually divorced.

Moving to the West Coast, Anya settled in San Francisco, where she wrote art reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle. Eventually, she remarried to a man named Eddie Fisher and settled in Pasadena. Studying privately with Rico Lebrun as well as at the Jepson Art Institute, Anya developed rapidly. Eventually, she went to Paris to study at the Academie Grand Chaumiere.




Opportunities for women were scant in the art world of the early 1950s. They were even worse for artists working in an abstract tradition in the relatively conservative environs of Pasadena. Still, Anya followed her own path. There was no longer an oppressive husband to deny her her dream. Nor was her lot cast with the Russian artists who were denied an opportunity to paint outside the state sanctioned style. 

Showing at such prestigious venues at Esther Robles Gallery, the Pasadena Art Museum, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Anya found success. In her senior years, she met a young English teacher who was destined to open a major American gallery, Frank Goss. When Sullivan Goss opened now 30 years ago, its first exhibition for a living artist was for Anya Fisher. Her freedom to paint became the gallery’s encouragement to engage with contemporary art.


3:04 | Jeremy Tessmer

Back To Top