Time for the Back Room Weekly!
This week’s piece: Sisters by Mary Warner
Mary Warner is well known for her floral paintings of breathtaking blooms, filled with liveliness and vibrant arrays of color. Her most recent sunflower series show the latter stage of a life cycle and are no less dramatic or remarkable than her paintings of flowers in their prime. Warner gives viewers a new perspective of her once flourishing blossoms; that there is beauty and purity in the process of dying. This novel shift in her work embraces the wabi-sabi, Japanese aesthetics that center on acceptance and loveliness of impermanence and imperfection. Wabi-sabi believes decay is more evocative than full bloom because the signs of coming and going are alluring and suggest transience. This series elicits a deep emotional response to its viewers, as they contemplate poignancy, fragility, and the continual splendor of life itself. Download the full article pdf
Selections from the Nevada Arts Council’s Artist Fellowship Program
Biography: Mary Warner is a visual artist, educator and curator. Born and raised in northern California, she has lived in Chicago and New York City. She has taught at the University of Montana, Oklahoma State University, and University of Texas San Antonio before finally settling in Las Vegas in 1989. She retired from her position as head of painting in the Art Department at UNLV in 2011 and is now Professor Emeritus. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mid America Arts Alliance, and in 1993 and 2009, two from the Nevada Arts Council, as well as numerous smaller grants and awards. She is the recipient of the 2011 Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in the Arts. Download Pdf for the full article
‘Some Fine Women’ at Vast Space Projects is a robust top-grade show
Las Vegas Weekly Dawn-Michelle Baude Wed, Aug 7, 2013
The title, Some Fine Women, understates. “Many fine women” is a more accurate description of a robust multimedia show with a whopping 60-plus works by 36 artists…
Women artists, the show insists, interpret the world differently than men, whether through form, shape, color or material. The position is less accusative—men-hating feminists are so last-century—than matter-of-fact. But the message, that culturally dominant notions of beauty and behavior are the legacy of male desire, comes across explicitly in some works, or, in the case of Edith Beaucage, with a kind of fiendish joy. Although her paintings recall misogynistic portraits by Picasso and de Kooning (painterly canvases thick with contempt), Beaucage’s buxom-nosed women are light-hearted. She deconstructs the canon of female beauty with a disarming naiveté.
…Mary Warner’s paintings—masterful works of waning sunflowers—take on the canon in a different way, by turning clichéd symbols of female vulnerability into botanical aliens. Warner’s florals verge on abstraction, the details functioning like theatrical microcosms where the fervid drama of creativity takes place… Read article
Mary Warner exhibit offers a fresh look at an old subject in Trifecta’s ‘Heavy Petals’
Conduct a quick and dirty survey of art history, and roughly three recurring themes bubble to the surface: mortality, the female form and flowers. A whole mess of flowers. So much so, in fact, that as a subject, the flower can seem a bit pedestrian; the phrase “over it” comes to mind. And painting? What new revelations about such a staid subject can possibly be achieved through a centuries-old medium?
You might be surprised. But in the case of Mary Warner’s Heavy Petal, opening this Friday at Trifecta Gallery, it’s not so much a question of what the painting reveals about the flower as what the flower can say about painting… Read article
Trifecta Gallery exhibits Mary Warner’s “Heavy Petals”
Mind in Vegas 22 March 2012
It may be a spaceship, hovering over a paint-by-numbers background. Or perhaps a nebula of fireworks, caught at the exact moment of explosion before color vanishes into annihilating shadows. To call Mary Warner’s recent canvases “portraits of flowers”—or worse yet, “flower paintings”—misses the point. They are not really flowers at all… read article
June 6 through July 28, 2012
Conversations in paint with Jane Callister, Wendy Kveck and Mary Warner
JAYJAY celebrates the hot temperatures of summer with an equally hot exhibit featuring three women artists who share similar interests in the sensuous and luxurious medium of paint. This is also an opportunity to explore the effects of inspiration, mentoring, and influence among artists who share and critique each other’s work. read article