22 September 2020 - 27 February 2021
"There’s always sound that enters when I’m thinking about a painting. To me they have sound." - Mary Weatherford
Gagosian is pleased to present Train Yards, an exhibition of paintings by Mary Weatherford. This is her first solo exhibition with the gallery in London.
Weatherford roots abstract painting in subjective experience, evoking urban and rural environments while experimenting with internal painterly dynamics around light, color, and gesture, as well as the relationship between a painted surface and various three-dimensional addenda. Preparing each canvas with a mixture of gesso and marble dust, she conjures a wide range of chromatic and textural effects. In her best-known works, sponged grounds of vinyl-based emulsion on heavy linen panels are surmounted by one or more carefully shaped and placed neon-filled glass tubes.
Weatherford began using neon in 2012, inspired by the illuminated signs that lined the streets of Bakersfield, California, where she was then working as a visiting artist and educator. Casting an intense industrial light onto the modulated fields of color beneath them, the tubes (which sometimes extend beyond the edges of the painting) read as hand-drawn lines, their trailing power cords adding a further graphic and dimensional aspect.
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. The surface of the paint ranges from matte and velvety to transparent and translucent. The canvas is at times densely filled, reading as a painterly continuum; at others, it shifts in color from edge to edge; and at yet others it contains clusters of marks set in relatively bare surroundings.