Carol Mothner, now retired and no longer painting, enjoyed a long and acclaimed career as a figurative painter and is renowned for exquisite works, which detail the ethereal qualities of her subjects. LewAllen Galleries honors this much admired and beloved major figure of Santa Fe art history in the exhibition, Little Treasures.
Throughout her life, Mothner has cultivated her practice through a variety of mediums. She has painted with oils, acrylics, and watercolors, created monotypes and lithographs, and illustrated journal spreads using multiple mediums on paper, all of which will be presented in this exhibition. Mothner’s works demonstrate her attention to detail in her meticulously painted birds’ nests, delicate etchings of young women, and vivid botanical oil paintings.
She is acclaimed for her unique ability to capture the essence and often overlooked magic, of commonplace objects. Her depictions of foraged birds' nests, eggs, ripe fruit, and lone flowers are portrayed as 'objects of contemplation.' Mothner uses starkly simple still-life arrangements to create an atmosphere of mystery, and arouse curiosity and imaginative thinking far beyond the image presented.
Art writer Michael Abatemarco says of her work, “Mothner invites us into that world of works that are petite and, at times, outright miniature in scale. But the subject matter is bigger than the sum of its parts.”
Her small panels might feature imagery similar to medieval decorated manuscripts or Indian miniatures. The viewer is drawn into an entirely new world, in which every object glows with inner life.
Her still-life paintings also recall the old-world paintings of the Dutch and Flemish masters. She draws inspiration from Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, as she creates delicate light and exacting lines in her work. Many of her subjects have an ethereal quality as if taken from a book of fairy tales.
Born in New York in 1943, Mothner received her first formal training at the Brooklyn Museum School of Art and later attended the Art Students League, Brooklyn College, and the School of the Visual Arts in New York. In 1971, she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and has been an admired figure in the Santa Fe art community for more than 50 years. She is distinguished as one of only a few female artists to be included in the historically significant 1977 Santa Fe Armory exhibition. She is also the widow of noted Santa Fe landscape painter Daniel Morper (1944 – 2016), whose realistic renderings of the Santa Fe Railyard prior to its gentrification are much acclaimed as beautiful visual records of a part of its treasured past. LewAllen Galleries also represents his work.
Originally an abstract painter, Mothner broke away from her training to pursue realist painting, inspired by Dutch and Flemish masters such as Jan van Eyck, Rachel Ruysch, and Johannes Vermeer. Since the early 1980s, Mothner’s work has been represented in the collections of numerous museums such as the De Young Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco, CA, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO, the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA, and the New Mexico Museum of Art, as well as in prominent corporate and private collections.