Once upon a time there was a little girl with bear ears and a red dress. She could fly high in the sky, but only when holding on tight to her magic balloon. One day, aloft above the gift ocean where polka-dot presents swim, she met two girls with cat ears and checkerboard wings. The three quickly became friends.
Anne Anderson does not tell these stories in her radiant, childlike mixed media drawings, but she makes their reading possible. And many others, about circus acts and hats with candles and girls in the shape of squares. In this she follows modernist masters like Chagall and Klee, who themselves took so much inspiration from the art of children, using its inventiveness and freedom to create works for adults that allow access to the world of discovery and wonder that children know so well—and adults have to spend a lifetime relearning. And so it is with Anderson’s drawings, which look for a moment as if they might be the illustrations for a series of beautiful children’s books but in fact are stuff that adults need even more.