Mary Ann Leff
Dec 2/3, 11am - 5pm
Living most of my adult life in Berkeley, I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Fortunate enough to have had easy access to the Carnegie Museum, I remember Saturday mornings wandering the old building with a sense of awe, seeing for the first time Van Goghs, Matisses, and Monets, and experiencing what it felt like to be stirred by composition and color. I remember the essay I wrote in middle school about my fingers “itching” to paint.
I attended Carnegie Mellon University throughout high school for pre-college classes and then for my undergraduate degree. I have been a working artist for over 50 years.
As an abstract artist, my concerns have always been less about content and more about formal composition. I see the elements of design (color, shape, line, form, space, and texture) as the “subjects” I work with. For many years, color, and producing vibrant sensual surfaces was what was most important for me. These days I am increasingly focused on texture. This is perhaps a result of my own maturing, aging, and experiences that have shown me that texture and subtlety are what add richness, nuance and depth to life--and to art. A richly textured surface is built upon the history of what has come before. It is where what is below, or has been, can be hinted at subtly or dramatically revealed. It is also, I think, where the conscious and the unconscious can meet--a place where what was only subconsciously or intuitively known can emerge. And it is literally the place where the painter and the viewer meet.
My work has been exhibited in art fairs and galleries, in invited and juried shows, in online shows. It has been on the cover of the Japanese edition of Multicultural Encounters, has been published in Artists of the Bay Area and American Art Collector, and is in many private collections.