Los Angeles Modernist & Hard Edge Figurative Painter
By Gallery Historians
Russian-born Anya Fisher came to study art at a relatively late age, after she had enjoyed a moderately successful career as a classically trained musician. At the age of 42, she began pursuing drawing and painting full steam, taking classes with the leader of the Los Angeles avant garde, Rico Lebrun. After earning an MFA, she developed important relationships with artists like Betye Saar and Frederick Hammersley. She held an active exhibition schedule with solo exhibitions at the Pasadena Art Museum and the Long Beach Museum of Art, among others. Sullivan Goss is pleased to present the Estate of the Artist.
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.
II. SGTV Video
"Bathed in Light: Paintings by Anya Fisher"
Narrated by Susan Bush
In the 2010 exhibition of paintings the artist, the gallery offers a new insight into the artist's bold vision of life as seen through her bold colors and strong lines.