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Carol Mothner

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Biography

Carol Mothner is a New York-born artist who has lived and worked in the Southwest for over 25 years. She 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 1965 a summer of study in Maine at the Skowhegan School of Painting convinced her that landscape painting was her passion, and in 1971 she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Although she had been painting for 14 years, it was not until the mid-1970s that she finally began to show her work in Santa Fe galleries. Mothner’s work has centered on some of the traditional genres of painting—interiors, floral still lifes, landscapes, and portraits. Mothner’s 1990 solo exhibition at the Gerald Peters Gallery, titled Private Places, focused on her renderings of sparsely furnished interiors, while her 1993 show, Theater of Dolls, consisted of a suite of psychologically-charged images depicting dolls and puppets arranged in miniature theatrical dioramas.

The subject of another project was The Seven Ages of Woman, for which Mothner created seven paintings and seven drawings documenting various women from the ages of 18 to 80. For the 1995 Christmas season exhibition The Poetics of Painting, Mothner produced a series of small portraits of angels, evoking the classical feel of Renaissance religious painting. In each of these modes Mothner applies her masterful technique in combination with her uncanny ability to extract emotional depth from her subject matter, whether human or otherwise. Images of flowers have long been one of Carol’s mainstays, and she has gained a richly deserved reputation for the evocative beauty and elegance of her floral work. Her mastery of the genre was confirmed when a selection of Mothner’s floral still lifes was chosen to be part of Flora: Contemporary Artists and the World of Flowers, a traveling exhibition organized by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum of Art in Wausau, Wisconsin. The Flora exhibition was seen in five different museums around the country between April of 1995 and June of 1996. In June of 1997, Mothner’s seventh solo exhibition, titled Promises, opened at the Gerald Peters Gallery. Her theme for this show was birds’ nests—some empty and some inhabited by a small group of delicate pale blue or yellow eggs. The show’s title refers to the promise of renewed life that comes every spring with a new generation of birds and perennial flowers. For this show Mothner returned to the medium of egg tempera, which she had not utilized for several years. Also included in the exhibition were oils on panel, lithographs, and a suite of monoprints. Mothner’s strength in portraiture, and particularly upon the feminine, was celebrated in a 2006 gallery exhibition entitled “Carol Mothner: A Voice of her Own.” The artist has most recently 2009-2010 been excelling in masterful portraits that breathe with realism and penetrating vitality of character. Portrait commissions are available by contacting the gallery.

Since the early 1980s, Mothner’s work has been shown throughout the United States and is represented in the collections of numerous museums as well as prominent corporate and private collections. Carol Mothner has been represented by the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe since 1986. She continues to live and work in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband Daniel (also an artist).