An exerpt from the Catalog Statment for “Egress” at the Sheehan Gallery, Whitman College, Walla Walla WA. Written by Justin Lincoln, August 2012. “You cannot go against nature Because when you do Go against nature It’s part of nature too” – Love and Rockets “No New Tale to Tell” Mary’s prints and paintings resonate with so many other things that I am looking at online: data visualizations and information graphics, Modernist painting, and resurgences of photo-realistic and illustrative painting as well. I am particularly struck by the relationships in these images between the natural and the artificial, the figurative and the abstract, and the balance of thought and feeling. This balance is reminiscent of my own feelings about the Internet and the “wildness” of its networks. It seems perfectly appropriate that I would first see these images on the web instead of in the more controlled space of a gallery. Iverson’s shipping containers can be seen as metonymic stand-ins for a whole system of distribution for objects that we deal with every day. These paintings, until recently, left us with little clue of what they might contain. They are like scientific conceptual “black-boxes” which are put into place to sidestep our actual material understanding. We might see these containers on a dock or train and have only a vague sense of what they may contain or how those materials might be used. This parallels directly with the distribution of data on the net. The analog and digital worlds of things echo each other. What I admire most in Mary’s work is how these echoes show breakdowns in systems. Why are these containers in forests or floating off of sinking ships? Who made a mistake in the distribution of these items? In a sense, I think that Mary is showing us beautiful glitches. In Mary’s vision I can believe that there is more beauty in these breakdowns of distributive systems than in the smooth flows of Capital. There is, in my mind, a critique of both the Neo-Liberal and Modernist visions of a one-world culture. Systems don’t always run like a massive well-oiled machine. Not only do the trains not always run on time, they sometimes totally run off the tracks. Nature demands these chaotic disruptions. One of the most exciting things we see in this exhibition is a new development in Iverson’s work. Instead of one dramatic shift in locale after another, we also see a sequential body of work that is situated in one locale. We get to view what is in the shipping container in that locale. What we find is yet more of the entwining and echoing between nature and culture. These new images suggest a conundrum that may be the most realistic aspect of the work. In the face of ecological catastrophe we are fighting with ourselves, laboring under delusions of separations that often don’t exist. – Justin Lincoln (August 2012) “She’s climbed up the leg of a crane to research her paintings’ subjects, the perspective lines drawn with a sharp blade. A true explorer, she sets up camp in the northwestern wilderness, searching for the perfect landscape to destroy in the nearly non-fictional, post-apocalyptic story she’s telling.” -Kristin Farr, Juxtapoz Magazine, August 2011 “In the end, I can’t help but think that Iverson’s paintings somehow transcend the scenic worlds of her luminist heroes. Given her intelligence and passion for the way people are living today, they even extend beyond the collision of industry and nature, consumerism and tranquility – in part triggering something very human in everyone who sees them. In short, Mary Iverson’s paintings speak to us, just a little, of ourselves. -Jen Pappas, Hi Fructose Magazine, October 2011
Current and Previous Works by Mary Iverson
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