Mary Weatherford (b. 1963, Ojai, California) has become increasingly recognized as one of the leading painters of her generation, as well as one of the most astute and daring practitioners taking on the legacies of American abstraction. As she explores and expands the medium’s possibilities, she honors its history by seizing opportunities to break with tradition at every turn. Over the course of her career, she has produced feminist revisions of large-scale Color Field painting, posited new directions for the landscape genre, and explored the social histories of California. Her notable incorporation of sculptural elements—including the neon tubes that have been a presence in her work since 2012—as well as her fearless and physically embodied approach to painterly gesture, have allowed her to employ abstraction as both a formal language and a poetic, highly personal mode of engagement with the world outside the studio.
Mary Weatherford was the subject of the survey exhibition Canyon–Daisy–Eden, which was on view 2020–2021 at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, and SITE Sante Fe, New Mexico. Other recent solo exhibitions include David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles (2021); Aspen Museum of Art, Colorado (2021); Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, Claremont McKenna College, California (2014); Todd Madigan Gallery, California State University at Bakersfield, California (2012); and LAXART, Los Angeles (2012). Recent group exhibitions include Aftereffect: Georgia O'Keeffe and Contemporary Painting, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (2019); Between Two Worlds: Art of California, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2017); NO MAN’S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. (2015); Pretty Raw: After and Around Helen Frankenthaler, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts (2015); and The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014). Her work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Brooklyn Museum, New York; K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In 2019, Lund Humphries published an in-depth monograph surveying the artist's oeuvre. Weatherford lives and works in Los Angeles.
Carolina A. Miranda
Diane Solway and Fan Zhong