current current artists exhibitions gallery

b. 1952

Anne Cox is a native of Atlanta. Raised in an upscale Buckhead neighborhood, her father was a partner in one of the city's oldest law firms. She is also a cousin of playwright Tennessee Williams. Refusing to study any other subjects except science and art, she read constantly and drew hundreds of pictures captioned in an unreadable and mysterious language. She took her dolls into the woods where she built complete cities for them. Teachers sent home notes with remarks like "Anne is disturbingly immune to punishment."

In her teenage years, her inner conflicts intensified. Out of the blue one day, at North Atlanta High School, she interrupted class after class, kicking several doors open to deliver a speech about the purpose of education, punctuating each appearance with a lit menthol cigarette. The Atlanta city school system was not yet prepared for performance art.

Cox has spent years working out her war with formal structures. She studied traditional art and religion at Young Harris College and Mercer University. The experience provided her with a riddle to solve: Art seems as huge and as distant as God in heaven. They both promise a glimpse of the awesome, yet from a vast distance. It was this realization that led her to create her current series, linking familiar materials from the real world to unseen forces from a spiritual realm that she must summon to survive.
In 1987, Cox practically disappeared from public life, and began converting her home into a private church. First one room, then another, was given over to her astonishing constructions, each with a central icon. Few people were invited into her private sanctuary as she wrestled with the nightmares and powerful images that were required to create her new faith. She has since dismantled the space where these works were born, saying simply, "It's time for them to enter the world."

Anne Cox continues to create new icons that are all pieces of her own personal religion, still emerging from the darkness as beacons of hope and light.