Mary Conover's mixed-media paintings are an investigation of alchemy, wilderness, light, and the soul. Using layers of delicate, glowing oil paint and soft oil pastel, Conover creates ethereal, other-worldly colorscapes in a new tradition that fuses aspects of impressionism and abstract expressionism.
Conover's photographs struggle to transcend time, searching for something wild and eternal within the landscape. For her, "landscape" is a concept relating to spirituality rather than physicality. She enlarges and abstracts her photographs to the point where the details of the original landscape have been erased, removing all recognizable traces of time. Devoid of any sense of time or physical place, the light and the land become potent sensory elements which challenge viewers to find themselves within the enigma of each vast photograph. Each piece is elegant, and utterly minimalist. According to Mary Conover, landscapes are as much about human energy as a physical place: “This series of abstract images of the ocean, [was] taken in an area of St. Barth called “The Windy Coast”. It is the last untouched place on that island. It’s what the French pirates would have seen for the first time. The ocean is beating in – untamed, elemental. I’m trying to capture, a force and presence beyond our comprehension.” Conover was born in Washington DC, and educated at the Philadelphia College of Art as well as the Corcoran School of Art. Formally a photojournalist for Condé Nast, Conover’s recent work with oil paints and her photography transforms physical landscapes into abstract notions of the human spirit. Her work is driven by the study of alchemy, the process of becoming spiritually elevated through struggle. Carl Jung pioneered the study of alchemy and the search for eternal ideas shared amongst religions. Jung was a mentor to Conover’s grandmother, Mary Conover Mellon, who introduced Jung’s ideas to America. His ideas shaped her approach to art.