French born American artist Annette Poitau received her MFA with honors from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. She also studied at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. After showing her work extensively in France, she moved to California, where she lived for 12 years before setting up her studio in Oberlin, Ohio.

Annette's paintings are displayed in private and public collections in the United States, throughout Europe, and in Japan. You can see her artwork at Marcia Evans Gallery, Columbus, OH and at Christine Frechard Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA.

Artist Statement

Most of my paintings are non-figurative. I prefer this term to “abstract” because my visual world, though it rarely depicts any specific subject matter, is usually grounded in dynamic, primordial natural forms, especially elements of the human body. The microcosm that is the curvature of an arm may end up evoking the macrocosm of a sweeping imaginary landscape. My paintings often call to mind the rich colors and textures of the earth. In creating them, I continue to explore a technique I discovered many years ago that is analogous to the geological processes of sedimentation and erosion that shape the earth.

The images evolve in layers, reflecting a kind of dialogue between my will and the chemical reaction of the materials: oil paint, varnish, and turpentine. I start by establishing the underlying composition directly on the canvas or the paper with thick paint and brushes. (This is generally the only brushwork.) I prepare my oils in a liquid form, each color in a separate container. One by one, I pour them on the horizontal canvas, moving it gently and carefully to direct the flow of the paint and control the blending of the colors. Due to the need for the paint to dry before I add the next layer, I work on several paintings at the same time. Layers are added and sometimes partially effaced, over and over, as often as is necessary for the piece to emerge in an incarnation that compels me to stop. In this way, the painting reveals itself over time, making its own sense, discovering its own soul.




  • Mansfield Art Center, Mansfield, OH 2014
  • Marcia Evans Gallery, Columbus, OH 2013
  • Box Heart, Pittsburgh, PA, 2012 
  • Gallery Christine Frechard, Pittsburgh, PA, 2012
  • Marcia Evans Gallery, Columbus, OH, 2011
  • FAVA, Oberlin, OH, 2011
  • Art 101 Gallery, Ashland, OH, 2009
  • Alliance Française, San Francisco, CA, 2003
  • Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA, 2002
  • Galerie Mic'Art, Lille, France, 1998
  • Musée de Saint Pol, Saint Pol sur Ternoise, France, 1998
  • Galerie 90, Béthune, France, 1996
  • Galerie Pablo Picasso, Denain, France, 1995
  • Galerie Mic'Art, Lille, France, 1995
  • Maison de l'Art et de la Communication, Sallaumines, France, 1994
  • Maison de la Faïence, Desvres, France, 1994
  • Hewlett-Packard Foundation, Les Ulis, France, 1994
  • Galerie 90, Béthune, France, 1994
  • Musée de Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise, France, 1994
  • Espace Permanent d'Art Contemporain, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, 1994
  • Galerie Septentrion, Marcq-en-Baroeul, France, 1993
  • Palais des Congrès et de la Musique, Lille, France, 1992
  • Hewlett-Packard Foundation, Villepinte, France, 1992
  • Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France, 1990


  • Art Festival of the Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT, 2014
  • Journey Art Gallery, Canton, OH 2013-2014
  • Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair, Ann Arbor, MI 2011-2014
  • St James Court Art Show, Louisville, KY 2012-2014
  • Boston Mills Artfest, Boston Mills OH 2010-2014
  • Alexandria Festival of Arts, Alexandria, VA, 2012-2013
  • Three Rivers Art Festival, Pittsburgh, PA 2012-2014
  • Old Town Art Fair, Chicago, IL, 2013
  • Atlanta Art Festival, Atlanta, GA, 2013
  • Winterfair, Columbus, OH, 2012-2014
  • Octoberfest, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH 2012-2014
  • Rittenhouse Fine Art Shows, Philadelphia, PA 2012
  • The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH 2011
  • Paradise City, Northampton & Marlborough, MA 2011
  • The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH 2010
  • Artists Archives of Western Reserve, Cleveland, OH 2009-2010
  • Award Winner's Exhibition, selected by Don Soker of the Don Soker Gallery in SF, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA, 2008
  • Art on Fire 12—Juror: Scott Shields, Chief Curator of the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA, 2008
  • Janice Rowell Gallery, Pacifica, CA, 2002–2011
  • Galerie des Beaux Arts, La Jolla, CA, 2000
  • Grands et Jeunes d'Aujourd'hui, Espace Eiffel, Paris, France, 1993–1995
  • Linéart International Art Fair, Ghent, Belgium, 1995
  • Salon d'Arts Contemporains, le C.R.A.C., Champigny-sur-Marne, France, 1994
  • Galerie Carlier, Le Touquet, France, 1994
  • Galerie Le Rayon Vert, Wimereux France, 1994
  • Foundry Gallery, San Diego, CA, 1993
  • San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA, 1993
  • Salon des Indépendents, Grand Palais, Paris, France, 1992
  • Salon d'Automne, Grand Palais, Paris, France, 1992
  • Salon Montrouge d'Art Contemporain, France, 1986

Works in Public Spaces

  • Cuyahoga County administration building collection, Cleveland, OH 2014

  • Southwest General Health Center collection, Cleveland, OH 2014

  • Hilton Columbus Downtown, Columbus, OH 2012
  • SFMOMA Artists Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2004–08
  • General Council of the Department of Yvelines, France 1994
  • Musée de Saint Pol, Saint Pol sur Ternoise, France 1994
  • Hewlett-Packard Foundation, France 1994
  • City of Valenciennes, France 1994
  • City of Douvrain, France 1994
  • Conception and realization of a mosaic mural at the Molecular Biology Research Institute Jacques Monot, University of Paris, France 1989–90


  • Auroral Substances, by Tom Wachunas, Dec. 4, 2013 (photos)
  • The Columbus Dispatch, Abstracts by Christopher Yates, 5/5/2013 (photo)
  • Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Fusion Naturelle, by Kurt Shaw, March 31, 2011 (photo)
  • Magazine of North Central Ohio, issue1/ Feb/Mar/2011 (photo)
  • The Columbus Dispatch, 5/9/2010 (photo)
  • Columbus Alive, 4/22/2010 (photo)
  • Pacifica Tribune, 9/19/07 (photo) 
  • Program of Events, Alliance Française of San Francisco, 9-10/03 (photo) 
  • San Mateo County Times, Bonny Zanardi, Annette Poitau exhibit explores artist’s colorful enigmas, 11/4/02 (photo) 
  • Pacifica Tribune, Debbie Grech, Annette Poitau, 2/20/02 (photo) 
  • La Voix, A la galerie Matisse de Seclin, Annette Poitau: sur les traces de l’immensité, 10/1/95 (photo) 
  • Nord/Éclair, Art contemporain à l’espace Malraux, 3/21/95 (photo) 
  • L’Echo, No.72, L’étoile peignante, 1/95 (photo) 
  • Nord Éclair, La matière, la couleur et les éléments, 1/13/95 (photo) 
  • Voix du Nord, Yves Portelli, Un mois pour découvrir Annette, 12/4/94 (photo) 
  • Festival 94 Hazebrouck, Annette Poitau l’eau et le feu, 12/2–8/94 (photo) 
  • La Voix, Véronique Bauchet, L’eau et le feu d’Annette Poitau, 9/11/94 (photo) 
  • L’Avenir de L’Artois, Espace Liberman, Annette Poitau à Douvrin, 6/3/94 (photo) 
  • La semaine dans le Boulonnais, Michel Didry, A la galerie du Rayon Vert de Wimereux, 5/26/94 (photo) 
  • Nord Éclair, Les beautés de la vie dans les couleurs d’Annette Poitau, 5/26/94 (photo) 
  • L’Abeille, No.21, Le petit peintre géant, 4/94 (photo) 
  • La Voix, Annette Poitau expose à la “Bergerie” 4/28/94 (photo) 
  • Voix du Nord,”L’eau et le feu” à la maison de la Faïence, 3/13/94 (photo) 
  • La Voix, Annette Poitau joue les prolongations…2/4/94 (photo) 
  • Le Courier, L’infiniment grand et l’infiniment petit, 1/20/94 (photo) 
  • La Voix, Guy Levifve, D’eau et de feu, l’univers artistique d’Annette Poitau, 1/11/94 (photo) 
  • L’Abeille de la Ternoise, Ph. Galez, Annette Poitau, ou la couleur dans toute sa jouissance, 1/14/94 (photo) 
  • La Voix, L’envoûtante exposition d’Annette Poitau, 1/9/94 (photo)
  • Le journal de Saint-Germain, La CLEF/L’EPAC, Poitau:”L’eau et la pierre”, 12/24/93 (photo) 
  • Le Point, Jean-Louis Ferrier, Puissant, 6/24/91 

Affiliations and Presentations

  • Marcia Evans Gallery, Columbus, OH 2010–
  • Christine Fréchard Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA 2011–
  • Box Heart Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, 2009–
  • Firelands Association for the Visual Arts (FAVA), Oberlin, OH, 2008–


  • Art Works on Main, Mansfield, OH, 2009–2013
  • Mansfield Art Center, Mansfield, OH, 2009–2013
  • Artists Archives of Western Reserve, Cleveland, OH, 2009–2013
  • German Village Art League, Columbus, OH, 2009–2012
  • SPACES, Cleveland, OH, 2009–2012
  • Pittsburgh Society of Artists, Pittsburgh, PA 2012–2013
  • Art Guild, Pacifica, CA, 2002–08 
  • Art Teacher, Lycée Français “La Pérouse”, San Francisco, 2003–08 
  • La Maison des Artistes, Paris, 1990–95 
  • Art Guild, San Diego, 1993–94 
  • (workshop) Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 1989


  • Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs Paris, Master of Fine Arts, Awarded with Distinction, 1989 
  • The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York City, 1988 
  • Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 1985–89 
  • Lycée Technique d'Etat Textiles et Arts Appliqués, Roubaix, 1983–85 
  • Institut Saint Luc, Tournai, Belgium, Bachelor of Arts, 1983 
  • Institut Saint Luc, Tournai, Belgium, 1980–82

Awards and Residencies

  • Best in Show, Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair, Ann Arbor, 2014
  • Commission from the Hilton Columbus Downtown, 2012
  • 2nd place—44th Annual Flint Art Fair, Flint Institute of Arts, 2011
  • Best in Show—Oktoberfest, Dayton Art Institute, 2010 & 2012
  • 2nd place—Fine Arts, Christkindl Markt, Canton Museum of Art, 2010
  • 1st Place—Fine Arts, Christkindl Markt, Canton Museum of Art, 2009 
  • Jurors: Laurie Fife-Harbert, Fleur de Lis Arts Consulting; Mary Ann Tarzan, co-owner of Larzar’s Art gallery; Dr. Fredlee Votaw, mixed media artist, Canton, OH, 2009
  • Best in Show—First Annual Arts Festival, Gallery on the Greens, Massillon Museum  
  • Exhibition Award, Art Guild of Pacifica, juried by Don Soker of Don Soker Gallery 2008 
  • Art Guild of Pacifica Award of Excellence, 2007 
  • Studio Holder, Sanchez Art Center, 2004–2008 
  • L’EPAC Artist Residency, 1994 
  • Itinerant personal exhibition in seven cities, sponsored by the General Council of the Department of Pas-de-Calais, 1993–94 
  • (residency) Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, 1990–92 
  • Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD) Paris, Master of Fine Arts, Awarded with Distinction, 1989 
  • Prize winner, Talens, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD),1989


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