Friday, September 11, 2009 - October 17, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009 - 7pm to 9pm
Love Letters is Baltimore-based artist Cara Ober’s first solo exhibition with Civilian Art Projects. A painter, teacher, and writer, Ober layers drawing, painting, and printmaking into mixed media works that examine and reinterpret sentimental imagery. Ober’s narrative works utilize specific phrases and fonts to suggest multiple voices, perspectives, and time periods. Rather than illustrating the text, the images create discord and contrast, layering metaphorical and nonsensical outcomes over personal notation. For Love Letters, Ober exhibits drawings and paintings, showing new work from three interrelated series. Intricate and funny, Love Letters explores the relationship of the artist to image, word, and personal meaning found in the exploration of secret fantasy and expressive interlude.
A visual artist with a love of the written word, Ober says, “the best metaphor for the method behind my fragmented, nostalgic, neurotic, and humorous paintings and works on paper is writing. It is impossible to experience my work without referencing reading and the literary narrative, not to mention home décor, suburban fashion, greeting cards, old dictionaries, pop songs, and other culturally mediated subjects. Wet scrawls of confessional writing, garnered from a variety of sources, contradict structured texts, often a dictionary definition or a generic statement, to imply numerous and disparate voices. Words have the power to illuminate as well as to deceive. I pair the visual with the verbal in order to maximize a painting’s power to contradict itself, mimicking the human brain’s natural thought process.”
Combining text and emotive scribbles, these new works are “paradoxically straightforward and intricate. Referencing an assignment or diary, hand-drawn notebook paper sheets create an ordered structure which contrast childlike scrawls of crayon, colored pencil, and magic marker.” Part romance, part inside joke, her paintings and drawings are nurturing tales of love and longing. Thick with hidden connection, fragments, and foggy memory, the imagery cumulates in a sort of impossible puzzle meant not to be solved but to be considered, enjoyed and left to its own devices.
Ober is commercially represented by The Randall Scott Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, Gallery Imperato in Baltimore, MD, and Civilian Art Projects in Washington, DC. She has participated in numerous international art fairs in the past year, including Art Miami, Aqua Winwood Miami, and Bridge Fair in London. Cara is a 2006 MD Individual Artist Grant recipient for painting and took second prize in the 2007 Bethesda Painting Awards. She received a Warhol Grant for Emerging Curators in 2006, and a Best in Show Award at the Torpedo Factory’s Juried painting exhibit in 2006 from juror Jack Rasmussen. Ober earned an MFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005 and a BA in fine arts in 1996 from the American University. Cara writes art reviews for various publications like ArtNews, The Examiner Newspaper, Art US Magazine, Art Papers, Gutter Magazine, and publishes her own award-winning art blog, BmoreArt. She received her MFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD and her BA in Fine Art from American University.
Opening reception: Friday, September 11, 7-9pm
Love Letters is Baltimore-based artist Cara Ober’s first solo exhibition with
Civilian Art Projects. Ober layers drawing,
painting, and printmaking into mixed media works that examine and
reinterpret sentimental imagery. Intricate and funny, Love Letters explores the relationship
of the artist to image, word, and personal meaning found in the exploration of
secret fantasy and expressive interlude.