The New York–based painter Mary Obering, whose elegant, sumptuous geometric abstractions imbue the spare language of Minimalism with the techniques of the Renaissance, is now represented by the Los Angeles gallery Kayne Griffin Corcoran, which will present a one-person show of her work in September. (Those heading to Frieze New York through Sunday will also find her work on offer at the gallery’s booth.)
Obering, who was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1937, has in the past had solo shows at a number of storied galleries, including New York’s Artists Space in 1973, Julian Pretto Gallery (whose owner, a major booster of Minimal painting, helped develop the Fine Arts Building in Tribeca) throughout the ’80s and early ’90s, and Annina Nosei Gallery in the late 1980s.
Among the museums that own her work are the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Wadsworth Atheneum, in Hartford, Connecticut; and the Whitney Museum, which featured her work in its 1975 biennial.
Made with materials like gold leaf and egg tempera, Obering’s paintings are both subtle and supple, and their nuance recalls peers like the late Marcia Hafif (one of her longtime friends) and David Novros. Travel to Italy during her teenage years inspired her interest in such materials, she told Cultured magazine last year, “I was astounded by the Renaissance paintings,” she said. “That experience was always in the back of my mind.”
Among her fans are the artist and designer Susan Cianciolo, who has crafted clothing inspired by her, and who once quipped that her work “feels like perfection.”