Vertical glass sculpture of a jaguar's head on a columnar body

Featured Artist: Isabel De Obaldía

Mary-Anne Martin|Fine Art is proud to announce that Isabel De Obaldía is exhibiting at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, “Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere,” curated by Adriano Pedrosa. This will be the first time the Republic of Panama will have a national pavilion at the Biennale. De Obaldía’s installation comprises a series of glass sculptures and large scale mixed media drawings based on her visits to the treacherous jungles of Darien, traversed each year by more than 500,000 men, women and children from all over the world who seek to reach the United States.

The artist Isabel De Obaldia, wearing a loose white shirt and white pants, stands in front of brightly colored drawing of a landscape

Isabel De Obaldía was born in Washington D.C. in 1957 of French and Panamanian parents. She studied architecture at the University of Panama and drawing at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris before receiving a BFA in Graphic Design and Cinematography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1979. She has frequently attended The Pilchuck Glass School since 1987, where she has studied engraving and glass casting and has served as an International Council Member. In 1990 she received the John Hauberg Fellowship from Pilchuck, and she returned to the school in 2023 as an instructor.

De Obaldía has been selected on several occasions to participate as a guest artist in international painting, sculpture and glass symposia as well as survey shows of contemporary art. In 2002 she taught kiln casting at the Real Fábrica de Cristales de La Granja in San Idelfonso, Spain. She returned to La Granja as an artist in residence in 2003 and in the same year had solo exhibitions at the Museo de Arte en Vidrio de Alcorcón in Madrid and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Panama. In 2006, she completed a fellowship at the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center in Millville, NJ and returned there in 2007 and 2008 to cast large-scale works which are then shipped to Panama for polishing and engraving. In 2009, she won the Rakow Commission at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. From 2011-2012, De Obaldía had a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale titled Primordial: Paintings and Sculpture by Isabel De Obaldia. In 2015 she was invited to the International Glass Symposium in Novy Bor, Czech Republic, where she began to experiment with the mold blown glass technique. De Obaldía has created animations and short documentary films which have been shown in international film festivals. In 2022 her work was included in the 58th Carnegie International, and she is a recipient of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Fellowship. De Obaldía recently completed a residency on Barro Colorado Island with Estudio Nuboso, which culminated with the exhibition 100 years of Barro Colorado Island at the Museo del Canal in Panama City. She lives and works in Panama. She has exhibited at Mary-Anne Martin|Fine Art since 1997.

Below are available works by De Obaldía, a selection of which are on view at the gallery.