Eleanor Harwood Gallery is delighted to announce our first solo show, Inside, Inside, with San Francisco-based Mary Finlayson. Finlayson’s paintings, and now mosaics, are a celebration of color, pattern, and form which chronicle and celebrate the aesthetics of everyday life.
Her tightly constructed and highly detailed works capture the feeling of these spaces, evoking the memory of place – often a departure from what is real. Her pieces pay homage to the likes of Corita Kent, Henri Matisse, and Stuart Davis by borrowing similar bright palettes, repetitive patterns, and simplified forms.
In this new body of work Inside, Inside, Finlayson presents a departure from her usual acrylic gouache and flashe on canvas and has created three masterworks in mosaic. While the backgrounds in the mosaics are “one color,” the tones become intricate. A background of periwinkle blue becomes a shimmering field of blue-purple. The exquisite set of choices leads to simplicity and complexity within a field of color made of tile. In a work titled “Violets and Oranges,” we are presented with astonishing tones on the skin of an orange, vacillating between vibrant yellows and gentle peaches and tones of fire. In another mosaic, “Portrait with Lemons,” she depicts a book on Josef Albers presented in rose colors – making maximal a minimalist’s color field. She plays with hues and texture, cleverly pointing us right at Albers’s theory that color “is almost never seen as it really is” and that “color deceives continually.”
Finlayson’s painted works feel pared down and intentionally flattened, in fascinating contrast to the complexity of the mosaics. In the paintings, colors are all used, as Finlayson states, “at the same volume, making each color as loud as one another.” The works are a cacophony of pattern, yet hold no variation within each color, leaving no visible painterly brushwork. She pulls from an education in screen printing and printmaking, expertly using flat fields of color to create complex images.
Both mediums of works are masterfully accomplished and more delightful in juxtaposition with one another.
Mary Finlayson (b.1982) is a Canadian-born artist living and working in San Francisco, California. Finlayson’s paintings are a celebration of color, pattern, and form which chronicle and celebrate the aesthetics of everyday life.
Her tightly constructed and highly detailed works capture the feeling of these spaces, evoking the memory of place—often a departure from what is real. Her pieces pay homage to the likes of Corita Kent, Henri Matisse, and Stuart Davis by borrowing similar bright palettes, repetitive patterns, and simplified forms.
Finlayson blends her knowledge of painting and printmaking, attributing her style to a background in silkscreen and lithography. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Queen's University in Kingston Ontario, a Graduate Degree in Art Therapy from the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute as well an Arts Education Degree from the University of British Columbia. She completed artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center as well as OTIS College in LA and recently completed a mural at the Facebook Artist in Residence program in San Francisco, CA. She has created work for Asana, Mohawk, Google, and Anthropologie.