Mary Obering, Artist, New York City. Review: Wadsworth Atheneum collection


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Hartford, Connecticut


November 17, 1992

Re: Permanent Museum Collection

Mary Obering
69 Wooster Street
New York, New York 10012

Dear Ms. Obering: 

   I am writing this letter in regard to our phone conversation of this afternoon, during which you requested information on a work of yours which is currently on view here. Your painting is part of a small group of works from the LeWitt collection which have been installed in one of our permanent contemporary galleries. The title of the exhibition is The Artist's Mark, and besides yourself, includes the work of Anthony Sansotta, Bernar Vernet, Edward Allington, Mario Merz, Robert Mangold, Pat Steir, Dorothea Rockburne and Ian Hamilton Finlay (with Michael Harvey). The text panel at the entrance to the gallery explains the motivation for this grouping:


    Marks are a key part of an artist's vocabulary. Phrases such as a "mark of distinction" and to "make one's mark" convey a notion of individuality. A mark reveals an intent, a plan or a meaning. Artists' marks, be they bold or subtle - branded, scratched, stamped, daubed, scored, traced, sketched - provide many clues about an object. By seeing as an artist sees, looking closely at the parts and their totality, we also discover something about the nature of art itself.

   The works in this room were brought together through a sense of what they have in common. Most are black and white and incorporate drawing. All use elemental shapes. All show something about structure.



Mary Obering
Born Shreveport, Louisiana 1937
Lives in New York City
Sala del Trono de Arruzi, 1990
paint and pencil on board

   At first glance, this work might appear to be rigid and austere. Yet this heavy, wooden, compressed hexagon also holds all the individuality of a person's choice of hairstyle. Its surface both shiny and matte, abounds with curly, wavy, brittle and regular lines that form surprising patterns.

Look for the irregularities.




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