WILMINGTON, DE.- The Delaware Art Museum
is presenting Painted Poetry: The Art of Mary Page Evans, a retrospective exhibition featuring approximately 50 paintings and drawings created by the artist between the 1960s and 2011. On view March 31 through July 15, 2012, this exhibition highlights Evans vibrant depictions of nature and the human form while celebrating the artists distinguished career.
To accompany the exhibition, the Delaware Art Museum produced a richly illustrated catalogue with an artist interview and an essay by Philadelphia painter Bill Scott. The book also highlights a selection of poems that have inspired Mary Page Evans, as well as works inspired by her pictures. Featured poets include Howard Nemerov, Billy Collins, Moira Linehan, Adrianne Marcus, Elizabeth Seydel Morgan, and Susan Jackson.
Mary Page Evans works directly from nature, seeking to capture a specific landscape, figure, tree, or sky. Her vibrant paintings and drawings evoke particular placesgardens in Delaware and France, a mountain in the Shenandoah Valley, the Florida coastsites she returns to again and again, chronicling them in different moods and seasons. Displaying work made over more than 40 years, Painted Poetry is organized thematically to highlight Evans longstanding interests: landscapes, gardens, figures, trees, seas, and skies.
Evans expressive use of color and line evokes the spontaneity of movement and light found in the natural world. Not surprisingly, her influences include the French impressionists and post-impressionists, as well as the abstract expressionists. She has worked at Giverny, Claude Monets garden, and names Cézanne as a particular inspiration. Her artist-friends include contemporary painters Grace Hartigan and Joan Mitchell.
Evans describes herself as a museum person and loves to discuss how specific artists and exhibitions have influenced her work. Yet she has developed a style all her own. As painter Bill Scott has noted, In Evans work there is always a balance between the representational and the abstract as well as between impulsive and meditative applications of paint to her canvas
She camouflages the numerous decisions and immense effort required to make her works look so effortless. The artists use of vibrant color and energetic drawing prompted painter Gene Davis, a friend of Evans, to describe her pictures as hymns of unadulterated joy.
Evans is also influenced by other disciplinesmusic, dance, and writing. This exhibition pairs Evans paintings with the words that inspire her, from the musings of Paul Cézanne to the contemporary poems of Billy Collins and Susan Jackson. The exhibition programming, which includes a classical music concert and poetry readings, will highlight the interdisciplinary cross-pollination that the artist seeks. To borrow Scotts eloquent description of her career, Her journey as an artist can be traced by seeing how she successfully finds and reinvents the inspiration that propels her to paint.
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Mary Page Evans graduated with a degree in music from Hollins University in Roanoke. After college she studied at the Art Students League in New York and the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. She has lived in Delaware for nearly 50 years, since her marriage to former Delaware Congressman Tom Evans. After moving to Wilmington, she took classes at the Delaware Art Museum and with artists Ed Loper and Tom Bostelle. Starting in the 1970s, Evans has been honored with many solo exhibitions, especially in Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. She is represented by Carspecken-Scott in Wilmington, Delaware, and Addison/Ripley Fine Art in Washington, D.C. Her paintings and drawings are in public, private, and corporate collections, including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University.