Mary Temple’s work expands beyond stretcher bars, blurring the boundaries of drawing, painting and sculpture. In sculptural site-specific pieces she uses her technical training to alter traditional thoughts on edges and perimeters. Though often presenting the viewer with a familiar visual experience, she goes one step further by obscuring the line between her work and the environment in which it is shown. One reexamines the architectural environment as the work modifies the space conceptually.
Much of Mary’s work incorporates trompe l’oeil painting onto sheetrock, clapboard, or hardwood, depending on the nature of the existing space. Employing the subject of doubt, impossible shadows and cast natural light are cascaded onto walls, floors, and ceilings that often see no such light. During her time in the workspace program, Mary worked with paper in a three dimensional manner, creating the walls of miniature rooms where her trompe l’oeils suggest the exterior environment. Working in the studio creating a series of watermarks, large-scale blow-outs, and pulp casts with the help of the studio collaborators. The watermarks allow light to pass through the sheet as if it were a window to an illuminated room. Mary also created a series of lightly pigmented watermarks, to simulate morning, afternoon, and artificial light, and is working on an edition, as well. By utilizing the dematerializing effects of light, those viewing Mary’s work are confronted with deciphering between what is real and what is not.
It made me remember how much I love the material to affect the outcome of the piece. I was able to embrace that and it changed the work I had planned to do. I want to keep that aspect in my studio practice somehow.
—Mary Temple, 2008
Mary Temple was born in Phoenix, Arizona where she received both her BFA and MFA from Arizona State University. She has also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.