Amy Rankin



Artist: Rankin, Amy                       

Title/Date: Rabbit, 2009

Description of the work:

Rabbit is a color etching by American artist Amy Rankin. The work depicts a human figure, probably a female figure, in a crouching position with both hands over the head. This figure wears a costume of a rabbit complete with rabbit feet and the face is uncovered by the lifting of the mask. The feature of the figure suggests a female looking downward. The figure is placed at the center of the composition which resembles an empty room divided by bands of yellow and purple.

The figure is the sole object within the composition, as well as the focal point. In terms of use of space, the composition does not give the viewer a sense of depth, Rankin uses light and shadow to create some dimensionality in a two-dimensional space. Rankin uses the complementary colors purple and yellow as a backdrop that is subordinate to the central figure. The top half of the composition where Rankin uses purple seems to utilize a heavier coat of paint in comparison to the lower half which uses yellow. The lower half uses a lighter coat of paint as one can see the brush strokes as well as the white of the material. The central and main figure is not depicted as a realistic interpretation of a human figure, rather a stylized version of one. Light and shadow are used but mainly in the lower leg areas part of the torso and the shadow of the figures in the yellow section. However, shadows are not represented near the arms or the face of the figure. The work gives the viewer the sense of turmoil or sadness. The fetal position of the figure, as well as the rosy cheeks of the figure suggest sadness.

Artist’s Biography:

Amy Rankin is an American artist from New Mexico. For more than 20 years, Rankin has worked in various disciplines that is reflected in her work. Some of these disciplines include printmaking, painting and drawing.  Her portfolio of work seem to suggest that she is interested in human form, as well as the raw emotion it produces. In her artist’s statement, Rankin says that every human being has a path. Fortunate humans find a path, as well as strength to continue till the end. Rankin tries to achieve a point where her ideas and imagery can come together to form a complete work. It is meant to be a reflection on the contemplation of life and its processes. This includes the process of growth, learning and change; she depicts both of this directly and metaphorically in her work. Rankin takes inspiration from material objects and living forms which allow her to use them as subtle metaphors as the subject matter for her compositions.  Although she has her own intention of ideas for her work to convey, ultimately, she leaves them up for interpretation from the audience.

 As a native New Mexican, Rankin currently lives in Taos, New Mexico.  However, she holds an MFA from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. In an invitation for a 2013 Art Reception, sponsored by Pueblo Community College, Colorado, Rankin’s description states that she has been an instructor in the Art Department of The University of New Mexico in Taos since 2005. Currently, she is the coordinator of public programs, as well as Interim of visitor services and store manager at the Hardwood Museum of Art located in Taos, New Mexico.


Signed: etching of monogram of A R lower recto corner  

Date and dimension: frame size 9 ½” x 12 ½” sight size 9” x 12”; 2009                 

Medium: Copper and Solar etching

Accession # and Acquisition Date: 2009.02.01 Date: 2009

Condition: Framed, Excellent

Provenance and Exhibitions: Selections from the Permanent Collection, 09′ and 13′    

Framed or Flat: Framed

Current location: This piece is part of the University Art Gallery’s permanent collection at New Mexico State University


-Judith Kendall webpage, Amy Rankin portfolio section accessed 20 November 2016

-Hardwood Museum webpage accessed 20 November 2016

-Colorado State Fair 2013, accessed 20 November 2016

Reproductions: N/A

Researched By: Jesus Zubia, 20 November 2016