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Mary Obering

Primo Piano

Mary Obering divides her time between New York and Italy, and her work—which combines traditional Renaissance techniques with a rigorous formalism derived from American Minimalist art—clearly reflects her peregrinations. In her paintings Obering uses materials and methods favored during the Quattrocento, such as the use of egg tempera and gold leaf on gessoed panels. Her most recent projects, which could almost be described as sculptures, consist of boxlike rectangular wall-pieces that have been painted on all visible sides. The surfaces and volumes these forms enclose have then been subdivided horizontally and vertically into monochromatic rectangles in strongly contrasting colors, which are opaque or brilliant depending on the smoothness of Obering’s application of paint and gold leaf. The leaf is distributed unequally, and it appears even more uneven because of the oxidation that

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