Mary Weatherford makes large paintings comprising grounds of spontaneously sponged paint on heavy linen canvases, often surmounted by one or more carefully shaped and placed colored neon tubes. The canvas—prepared with white gesso mixed with marble dust and worked on with Flashe paint, a highly pigmented but readily diluted emulsion—supports startlingly diverse applications of color, while the surface of the paint ranges from matte and velvety to transparent and translucent. Weatherford’s use of color and light is based on her direct experience of specific locations, as well as her memories of such experiences.
Created in response to the covid-19 pandemic, the Artist Spotlight series highlights individual artists, one week at a time, whose exhibitions have been affected by the health crisis. A single artwork by the artist is made available with pricing information for forty-eight hours only.
Artist Spotlight: Mary Weatherford features a key work from the artist’s upcoming major exhibition with Gagosian, in London. For more information, please contact the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Antony Hoffman
Mary Weatherford: Train Yards
Mary Weatherford speaks to Laura Hoptman about her new paintings, the Train Yard series. Begun in 2016, this body of work evokes the sights and sounds of railroads and night skies. The series will be shown for the first time in late 2020, in an exhibition at Gagosian, London.
Work in Progress
We visit the artist’s California studio as she prepares for her exhibition I’ve Seen Gray Whales Go By. She speaks with Jennifer Peterson about her new paintings, her studio process, and the artists who have inspired her.
Mary Weatherford: I’ve Seen Gray Whales Go By
Taking viewers behind the scenes during the installation of Mary Weatherford’s I’ve Seen Gray Whales Go By at Gagosian, New York, this video features interviews with the artist and John Elderfield.
After Frankenthaler: An Interview with Katy Siegel
Art historian Katy Siegel discusses her recent exhibition at the Rose Art Museum and publication “The heroine Paint”: After Frankenthaler with Gagosian’s Alison McDonald.
I’ve Seen Gray Whales Go By
September 13–October 15, 2018
555 West 24th Street, New York
Artschwager, Chamberlain, Twombly, Varejão, Wall, Weatherford
July 19–August 31, 2018
Aspen Award for Art
Mary Weatherford is the recipient of the 2021 Aspen Award for Art, which will be presented on Friday, August 6. The award was established in 2005 by the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado to recognize individual artists making exemplary contributions to contemporary art.
On the occasion of the award, Weatherford will be in conversation with Nicola Lees, director of the Aspen Art Museum; Simone Krug, assistant curator; and Luis Yllanes, chief operating officer. The group will discuss Weatherford’s recent exhibition Neon Paintings, which was recently on view at the museum.
Photo: Antony Hoffman
I’ve Seen Gray Whales Go By
Mary Weatherford: I’ve Seen Gray Whales Go By is available for online reading from June 17 through July 16 as part of Artist Spotlight: Mary Weatherford. Documenting Weatherford’s 2018 exhibition at Gagosian in New York, her first with the gallery, it features a new essay by curator and art historian John Elderfield that examines how this body of work evokes not just landscapes, but specific events and narratives. The plate section is interspersed with examples of Weatherford’s varied source material, including a nursery rhyme, a page of sheet music, and an entry from artist Agnes Pelton’s journal.
Mary Weatherford: I’ve Seen Gray Whales Go By (New York: Gagosian, 2020)
Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 5:30–6:30pm
Gagosian Shop, New York
Gagosian Shop will host a book signing with Mary Weatherford to coincide with the exhibition Mary Weatherford: Canyon—Daisy—Eden at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, on view from February 1 through July 12. Weatherford will be signing copies of her new monograph, Mary Weatherford, which features a new text by art historian Suzanne Hudson. Published by Lund Humphries, the book presents an overview of her work from the mid-1980s until today. The artist will also be signing copies of her 2016 book, Mary Weatherford: The Neon Paintings.
Mary Weatherford (London: Lund Humphries, 2019)
April 16–September 5, 2021
SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico
Over the past three decades, Mary Weatherford has developed a rich and diverse painting practice, from her early-1990s target paintings based on operatic heroines to her expansive, gestural canvases overlaid with neon glass tubing. This exhibition presents a survey of Weatherford’s career, drawing from several distinct bodies of work made between 1989 and 2017. Showing the artist experimenting with color, scale, and materials, these works together reveal the continuity of Weatherford’s interest in memory and experience, both personal and historical. The exhibition has traveled from the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York.
Mary Weatherford, Georgia, 2010 © Mary Weatherford. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio
December 18, 2020–May 2, 2021
Aspen Art Museum, Colorado
This exhibition examines pivotal pieces from the last decade of Mary Weatherford’s work, with a particular focus on her neon paintings. The artist began to incorporate neon tubing into her work in 2012 after driving around the California city of Bakersfield, where she was struck by the neon signage—both illuminated and burnt out—on bars, shops, and old factories. Weatherford’s neons arc over thin veils of color, illuminating her canvases even as they act as their own expressive marks.
Installation view, Mary Weatherford: Neon Paintings, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, December 18, 2020–May 2, 2021 © Mary Weatherford. Photo: Carter Seddon
February 1–July 12, 2020
Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York
Over the past three decades, Mary Weatherford has developed a rich and diverse painting practice, from her early-1990s target paintings based on operatic heroines to her expansive, gestural canvases overlaid with neon glass tubing. This exhibition presents a survey of Weatherford’s career, drawing from several distinct bodies of work made between 1989 and 2017. Showing the artist experimenting with color, scale, and materials, these works together reveal the continuity of Weatherford’s interest in memory and experience, both personal and historical.
Installation view, Mary Weatherford: Canyon—Daisy—Eden, Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, February 1–July 12, 2020. Artwork © Mary Weatherford. Photo: Jeremy Lawson
Feel the Sun in Your Mouth
August 24, 2019–February 2, 2020
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
This exhibition brings together artworks acquired by the museum over the past five years with a focus on art that incites sensation and demonstrates a renewed interest in sublime encounters with the world. Spanning a period of extreme technological growth that has led us from the first steps on the moon to the development of the Internet, this exhibition illuminates a return to the poetic, the intuitive, and the cosmic in current artistic practice. Work by Alex Israel, Tatiana Trouvé, and Mary Weatherford is included.
Mary Weatherford, Engine, 2014, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC © Mary Weatherford