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
Extended through July 13, 2019
June 10–July 13, 2019
In homage to G. Bataille
June 1–July 28, 2018
Virtual Studio Visit with Klaus Biesenbach
In the Virtual Studio Visit series from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, director Klaus Biesenbach digitally connects with artists around the world. Here, he speaks with Mary Weatherford at her working space in Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa. The pair discuss Weatherford’s show Canyon—Daisy—Eden, at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, and her practice in general.
Still from “Virtual Studio Visits: Mary Weatherford”
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)
Closing this Week
Through 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 human 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
No Man’s Land
Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection
September 30, 2016–January 8, 2017
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC
Drawing from the Rubell Family Collection, the paintings and sculptural hybrids in N0 Man’s Land demonstrate the expressive and technical range of work by a generationally, aesthetically, and politically diverse group of contemporary women artists. Collectively, they populate “no man’s land”—an open, liberated, and adaptable creative space. The presentation focuses on the traditional mediums of painting and sculpture as a way to highlight how women artists have pushed and redefined the boundaries of such categories. Work by Cecily Brown, Jennifer Guidi, and Mary Weatherford is included.
Installation view, No Man’s Land: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, September 30, 2016–January 8, 2017. Artwork, left to right: © Mary Weatherford, © Kerstin Brätsch, © Sonia Gomes
After and Around Helen Frankenthaler
February 11–June 7, 2015
Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
Pretty Raw takes the artist Helen Frankenthaler as a lens through which to refocus our vision of modernist art over the past fifty years. In this version, decoration, humor, femininity and masculinity, the everyday, pleasure, and authorial control take center stage. The exhibition, curated by Katy Siegel, features works by artists from the 1950s through the present who have found personal, social, and political meaning in materiality. Work by Helen Frankenthaler, Mike Kelley, Sterling Ruby, Andy Warhol, Mary Weatherford, and Christopher Wool is included.
Mary Weatherford, Olive Downtown, 2014 © Mary Weatherford. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio