Long-time Delawarean artist Mary Putman draws on the visual language of rural Delaware to communicate farming practices, memory, and melancholic reverie. In this retrospective of her work, Putman features paintings created over four decades that reflect her years of observing the landscape as a means to explore the significance, traditions, and rituals of farming.
The genre of American agricultural landscape lends structure to her paintings with people, roads, and buildings populating the canvas. Although subject matter remains relatively consistent, Putman’s work is patently about painting. From the layering of pigment to the often stark compositions, the synergy between shape, color, and texture all conspire to create the narrative of Putman’s work. At first glance, Putman’s signature oil painting, A Map of the World, on loan from the Biggs Museum, sparkles with its panoramic vista and pristine rendering of American farm life. It quickly becomes obvious that this artist is a keen eyewitness to the scale, topography, colors, and atmospheric pulse of rural Delaware.
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