Selected works by Ann Toebbe

Ann Toebbe
The Doctor's Wife


Cut paper, paint, acetate, glue on paper

190.5 x 322.6 cm

Ann Toebbe’s flattened interiors have the look of both a board game and a cut-out paper home for dolls; either way, her architectural spaces are unpopulated, hinting sarcastically, in both title and details, at a social type who’ll slot in nicely. In The Doctor’s Wife, a family kitchen is laid out diagrammatically. There are the containers for foodstuffs, arranged in descending order of size; the food processor, ready to whizz; the vegetables, freshly chopped by the sink; the perfect garden, with its bowers and white picket fence.

Ann Toebbe
The Grocer's Wife


Cut paper, paint and glue on paper

190.5 x 254 cm

The imagined occupant is externally defined (by her spouse’s occupation, by the stuff in her house), and her lack of interiority is implied, most obviously, by her absence: she’s not there because, well, she’s not there, even when she is. The Grocer’s Wife is less socially elevated, as the title sardonically hints: its linoleum floor, in squiggled paint at odds with Toebbe’s schematic rendering of cupboards and stools, suggests a humbler income, though the interior is no less oppressively over determined.

Ann Toebbe
The Photo Engraver's Wife


Cut paper, paint and glue on paper

190.5 x 254 cm

Imagined occupants must move in line with the space they occupy, and it’s hard to imagine anyone other than a cut out character, shuffled around by game-playing children, inhabiting such a place. This, perhaps, is Toebbe’s point – that an ideal of personhood is no more inhabitable than a flattened-out interior.
This lends her works their ghostliness; life reduced to a pattern is still haunted by the viewer’s projected inhabitants, like children’s toys given strange life through the power of the imagination.

Text by Ben Street

Ann Toebbe's Biography

Ann Toebbe
Born in 1974, Cincinnati,OH
Lives and works in Chicago, IL


EBERSMOORE, The Inheritance, Chicago, IL

Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL

Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA

Branch Gallery, Churches, Durham, NC

Three Walls, Stained Glass, Chicago, IL

537 Gallery, After School Days, Cincinnati


Open House: Art About Home, The Elmhurst Museum of Art, Chicago

Miami Project, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Miami, FL
Housebound, Heiner Contemporary, Washington, DC,
Sunday Paintings for A Rainy Day, Curated by Hein Koh, Field Projects, NYC
Project 0012, in collaboration with Skowhegan, Cape Elizabeth, MN
The Shape of Things, LivWill Art, Litchfield CT
Neu!, Ebersmoore, Chicao, IL

Pulp, MFA Gallery Central at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR
NEXT Art Fair, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Chicago, IL
Two Fold, The Suburban,Chicago, IL

Ah Wilderness, Ebersmoore, Chicago, IL
Power of Selection 3, Western Exhibitions, Chicago, IL
IAAFBJHMJNMOMRSATSW, Curated by William Staples, Fountain Studio Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
NEXT Art Fair, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Chicago, IL

Mixtape, Curated by Jeffrey Teuton, Jen Bekman Gallery, NYC
Knowingly Naïve, NEXT Art Fair, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Chicago, IL
Zombie:A Mindless Affair, Atena, Chicago, IL, October After Narrative, Art Space, New Haven, CT West Prize Finalist Exhibition, The West Collection, Oaks, PA

Innocence Regained, Anna Kustera Gallery, NYC
Mutability, Curated by Patricia Courson, Around the Coyote, Chicago, IL
Bellwether, Curated by Shannon Stratton, Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia PA
Grandma, Brooklyn Fire Proof, Brooklyn, NY, and San Francisco, CA
The Souvenir Show,The Gift Shop Project Space, Chicago, IL

You are in My Space, Gallery 2, Chicago, IL
The Big Bang, Curated by Julie Langsam, Spaces, Cleveland, OH
Constellation, Curated by Michelle Beckett, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL
Table Tops, Curated by Deborah Hesse, Haskins Laboratory, New Haven, CT
Subreality, AfterModern, San Francisco, CA
Work from the Flatfile, Gala Benefit, Art Space, New Haven, CT

Darling Project, Wendy Cooper Gallery, Chicago, IL
One Year Anniversary Exhibition, AfterModern, San Francisco, CA
NOVA, Brooklyn Fire Proof Inc., Chicago IL
Selections, Work from the Flatfile, Artspace, New Haven, CT

My Perspective, Curated by Steven Zevitas, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA
Drama, Romance, Loneliness, Narcissism, and Other Diseases of the Soul, Curated by Chris Bogia, and Jen DeNike, Massimo Audiello Gallery, NY

Hallowed Halls, Curated by Chip Tom, Marc Selwyn Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
MFA Thesis Exhibition, Yale School of Art Gallery, New Haven CT

Selections, Work from the Flatfile, Art Space, New Haven, CT

Art Basel-Miami, Ambrosino Gallery, Miami, FL
Emerging New York Artists, Curated by John O'Conner,Arno Maris Gallery, Westfield State College, Westfield, MA

Passing Through: 11 New York Artists, Curated by Sarah Brennamen, Shaqab
College of Design Art, Doha, Qatar and Virginia Commonwealth University

Benefit Auction, Bellwether Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Flatfiles, Bellwether Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Snapshot, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD

Crunchberg, Videoland Art Gallery, New York, NY
Rough House, 338 West 38th St., New York, NY
Night of 1,000 Drawings, Artists Space, New York, NY

Rough House 13, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY

BFA Exhibition, Reinberger Gallery, Cleveland, OH
Independent Show, Reinberger Gallery, Cleveland, OH

Independent Show, Reinberger Gallery, Cleveland, OH

Open Studios, New York Studio Program, New York, NY