Mary Weatherford - New Now New York Wednesday, February 27, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Brennan & Griffin, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    California State University Bakersfield, Todd Madigan Gallery, Mary Weatherford: The Bakersfield Project, February 9 - March 10, 2012

  • Literature

    Robert Faggen, ed., Mary Weatherford: The Neon Paintings, New York, 2016, p. 204 (illustrated, pp. 6, 28-29)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I’ve discovered that the city is light. Without light we don’t have a city” - Mary Weatherford

    Arresting and color-driven, Truxtun, belongs to Mary Weatherford’s most celebrated series of neon paintings inspired by her experiences within the uniqueness of city landscapes. Executed in 2012, this work is part of The Bakersfield Project series and is one of the first to feature the neon rods that were a career-altering experimentation for the artist and have been featured in her work ever since.

    Throughout this series, Weatherford utilized diluted Flashe paint to create a translucent effect that forms a gradient of richness in hue. Inspired by Helen Frankenthaler’s techniques, Weatherford integrates her mixed media to create a harmonization of color. Elevating this subdued aesthetic, two delicate bands of neon stretch across the canvas and beam above the color field with an eye-catching illumination that adds depth and vigor. Further highlighting this element, Weatherford showcases the transformer and power cords as an essential part of the piece. She rejects hiding these elements for aesthetic purposes and rather drapes them elegantly over the canvas as an intentional compositional element.

    Truxtun showcases Weatherford’s intimate experience within the diverse environs of Bakersfield. The bright white and warm yellow glow of the neon contrasts with the cool airy blue in a seamless combination reminiscent of the peculiar and particular dichotomy of nature and industry in Bakersfield. Weatherford’s artful tubes romanticize the dilapidated neon signs that stand starkly erect over the placid Bakersfield sky. So striking are they that they draw the viewer’s attention back and forth from the wash of color that lies below. The artist believes that “you can’t look at the painting and look at the light at the same time…there’s a perceptual oddity when you are looking straight at it” (Mary Weatherford, quoted in “From the Mountain to the Sea: A Conversation”, in The Neon Paintings: Mary Weatherford, Munich, 2016, p. 202).

    Weatherford’s work focuses on conjuring emotions similar to those felt when repeatedly driving the same road and passing by familiar city lights. She reflects, “I started getting interested in roads and how roads make my life, and everybody’s. We travel on these roads that have been made, and then there’s a pattern. […] What if the 10 Freeway were someplace else? Then you’d have a different life” (Mary Weatherford, quoted in “From the Mountain to the Sea: A Conversation”, in The Neon Paintings: Mary Weatherford, Munich, 2016, p. 203). Weatherford draws from her personal experiences with landscape and brings them to the surface through her evocative compositions, as perfectly embodied in Truxtun.



signed, inscribed and dated "MKWeatherfoRD 2012 Made IN BakeRsfield TRuxtoN" on the overlap
Flashe and neon on linen
93 x 79 x 4 in. (236.2 x 200.7 x 10.2 cm.)
installation dimensions variable

Executed in 2012.

$250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for $325,000

Contact Specialist
Sam Mansour
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1219

New Now

New York Auction 27 February 2019