Using a combination of oil and acrylic paint, ink, and found photographs, Seattle-based artist Mary Iverson investigates the relationship between humans and their environment in her landscape overlay paintings. Iverson builds worlds where dramatically angled, brightly colored geometric shapes are caught in webs of competing perspective lines and grids, superimposed over otherwise tranquil scenery.
Iverson explains her work by saying, “My paintings are colorful abstractions that spring from the theme of the industrial shipping terminal. The canvases feature mass accumulations of shipping containers and container cranes in various perspectives. My work employs a network of searching perspective lines and layers of interlocking, colorful planes and rectangles that suggest both deep space and flat surface.”
Part painting and part collage (the pieces often incorporate found photography), her artworks address what happens when globalization and the environment collide, material possessions doubling and tripling until they spill into the natural world around them. The Seattle-based painter gathers the bulk of her source imagery for her sketches through yearly trips to parks across the country, camping and photographing the landscape around her.
Whether it’s an oil painting, mixed-media collage, or public art mural, Mary Iverson’s artwork is intriguing, evolving, and beautifully executed. Her most recent oil paintings are a complex intersection of the past and a possible future. These natural landscapes speak of a more innocent time, while the imposition of shipping containers portend a dark fate. Perspective lines etched into the canvases give the paintings a post-apocalyptic feel, as if a scientist from the future is examining the paintings as artifacts for research. The more you look at her paintings, the more the worlds portrayed expand in your imagination.
An award-winning artist, Mary’s work is exhibited in galleries around the world and included in many public and private collections. She teaches painting and drawing at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, Washington, where she is a tenured faculty member. Mary has a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts and an MFA from the University of Washington. In Seattle, her work is represented by G. Gibson Gallery. To see more images of Mary’s work, visit her website at MaryIverson.com.
Iverson described her work to Amadeus Magazine: “In following my interests and working to resolve an artistic dichotomy within myself, between my love and nature and my fascination with the shipping industry, I came upon a visual solution that metaphorically echoes what we are facing in the world today.”
These paintings are included in Correspondence, her exhibition with Scott Albrecht at Andenken Gallery in Amsterdam, NL. The show opens on November 11. You can also see more of Iverson’s finished and in-progress works on Instagram.