Elena Climent: Drawing with Light

As part of Master Drawings New York 2014, Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art will present 20 digital drawings created on the iPad by Mexican painter and muralist Elena Climent. Output as giclée prints, the works will be mounted side by side with actual iPads showing the step-by-step progression of the drawings from first outline to completed work. Climent, who is interested in the link between traditional methods of drawing and electronic drawing in the 21st Century, compares the ability of the iPad “Zoom” feature to show details not visible to the naked eye with Vermeer’s use of the camera obscura to investigate tiny visual details he later included in his paintings – details that can only be seen using a magnifying glass.

In the artist’s own words, “When making art on an iPad, you are creating a pure image with no physical weight or texture or temperature. You are not mixing colors on a palette until you find the exact hue; you are not thinning the paint with turpentine to make it more transparent; you are not interacting with the behavior of the surface, whether canvas, paper, wood, tin or any other. There is no drying time, no humidity factor, no cracking.  Creating art on an iPad or computer is the closest I have ever felt to drawing or painting directly from my mind.  I look, I think, I decide what color I want and I make it happen on the screen.  I have learned to mix colors in my brain. My experience with iPad art has taught me that even something as seemingly cold, industrial and impersonal as a computer screen can become intimate, personal and poetic.”

There will be an opening reception at the gallery on January 24 from 4:00-8:00. The exhibition continues through Friday February 21, 2014. Please call for hours.

“Isabel De Obaldía: Metates” Opens November 15, 2013

Reina Hormiga
Isabel De Obaldía, “Queen Ant (Reina hormiga)”, kiln-cast crystal, 8.75 x 18.5 x 8 inches, 2013

Opening November 15, 2013

On view through December 13, 2013

For this exhibition the artist has created 13 new sculptures based on Pre-Columbian prototypes. The show will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an introductory essay by Lowery Stokes Sims, curator of the Museum of Arts and Design, NY, and a scholarly article by Dicey Taylor titled, The Ancient Metates of Panama.

According to Dr. Taylor, an expert on Pre-Columbian art and archaeology, “The glass sculptures of Isabel De Obaldía evoke the ancient spirits of Panama’s rainforests and seas. Many of her pieces have rustic textures that infuse her powerful forms with a compelling force, echoing the volcanic stone sculptures of ancient times.”

This is De Obaldía’s sixth solo exhibition at Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art. In 2009 the artist was awarded the Rakow Commission from the Corning Museum of Glass and in 2011 she was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale.

Please contact kdeane@mamfa.com or mamartin@mamfa.com with any questions.

Isabel De Obaldía: Metates 2012

This short film documents the preliminary stages of the artist’s process for creating a group of large sand cast glass metates made at Wheaton Arts in Millville, NJ.

Film and original music by Pedro Joaquin Icaza.

“The work with the most direct visual links to Panama’s archaeological past is De Obaldía’s series of cast-glass metates, based on the Pre-Columbian stone ceremonial ‘thrones’ found in Panama and Costa Rica. Stone metates, used to grind maize and other foodstuffs, were probably incorporated into ancient rituals and the decorative quality of some Central American examples certainly suggests a ceremonial function. Carved from porous volcanic stone, they often have protruding animal heads and tails and are covered in geometric relief carving. Linked to rites of fertility, it has also been suggested that some of the larger and more ornate examples may have served as thrones for rulers.”

-Susan L. Aberth, “Emissaries from the Primordial Realms: The Presence of Pre-Columbian and Indigenous Art in the Work of Isabel De Obaldía”, essay from the catalogue for Primordial: Paintings and Sculpture by Isabel De Obaldía at Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southereastern University, 2011-2012

“Primordial: Paintings and Sculpture by Isabel De Obaldía” Now on View at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale

Primordial: Paintings and Sculpture by Isabel De Obaldía opened to the public on September 25. The show received a glowing review from Rod Stafford Hagwood of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Hagwood interviewed Irvin Lippman, director of the museum, who said that De Obaldía’s work, “is a powerful expressive force [that] really captures the spirit of nature.” Hagwood also spoke with Susan Aberth, assistant professor of art history at Bard College, who added “Her work has a great dramatic presence.  There is a light-enhanced quality but the pieces are also very heavy looking. They speak to the past. And then there’s the size of them. There is a psychological weightiness there. They feel almost alive…They look ancient…animals with fangs and spikes and things that attack…menacing males, mostly stern and holding a weapon of some sort.” The exhibition continues through May 27, 2012. read more…

Isabel De Obaldía Retrospective to be held at The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale

The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale will present a mid-career retrospective of Isabel De Obaldía’s work, opening to the public September 25, 2011. The show, titled “Primordial: Paintings and Sculptures by Isabel De Obaldía, 1985-2011,” will feature approximately 100 works by the artist, as well as a number of pre-Columbian objects that relate to her artistic process. The exhibition has been scheduled to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Studio Glass Movement in the United States and will be on display through May 27, 2012.

To view the official press release from the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, click here.

Arte Al Día Commemorates Women Gallerists

The current issue of Arte Al Día International magazine focuses on the growing significance of Latin American art in the global art world. One article in particular, titled “Latin American Art in the Visionary Eye of Women Gallerists,” addresses the role a number of noteworthy women gallerists have played in shaping this sector of the art market. The author, Janet Batet, notes that,

The first name that comes to mind for historical reasons is that of Mary-Anne Martin, who developed a praiseworthy effort towards the recognition of modern Latin American artists from her position at the auction house Sotheby’s New York. She was responsible for three capital events for the Latin American Art market which would lead to the creation of Sotheby’s Latin American Art Department. These were: the inclusion in the 1976 modern art auction sale of thirty pieces of Mexican art and their successful sale, the first auction sale of Mexican works in the United States in 1977, and later, in 1979 the first Latin American art auction sale.

In 1982, Mary-Anne left Sotheby’s to establish her own gallery and fulfill a task which has been crucial for the launching of such figures as Gunther Gerzso and Francisco Toledo, among others.

To read this article in full please visit the magazine’s website at http://www.artealdia.com/International and click on the current issue.

The New York Times Reviews Master Drawings in New York

Frida Kahlo, "El Verdadero Vacilón (The True Tease)", pencil on paper, 8 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches, signed and titled, 1946

MAM/FA’s Surrealist drawing show received a favorable mention in Roberta Smith’s article in The New York Times Arts section on January 27, 2011. Ms. Smith featured an image of Frida Kahlo, “El Verdadero Vacilón,” noting how the drawing is a “dense, extended doodle, it embeds a lexicon of Kahlo motifs — a hand, veins, some eyes, several breasts — in a geodesic constellation fraught with stars and spirals that seem straight out of late Kandinsky.”

View the full article and slide show.