In this exhibition we survey 12 painting from the career of San Francisco-based painter Kara Maria. Her work reflects on political topics – feminism, war, and the environment. She borrows from the broad vocabulary of contemporary painting; blending geometric shapes, vivid hues, and abstract marks, with representational elements.
After beginning college at a music conservatory on the East Coast, transferring through a few different schools, and spending a year studying and traveling in Europe, Kara Maria moved to San Francisco in 1990 to attend the University of California at Berkeley. There she earned a BA in Art Practice in 1993, followed by an MFA in 1998.
According to the Sacramento News & Review: "If scientists could record a visual representation of human emotions, it seems plausible that they would look like Kara Maria's paintings. The San Francisco artist's nonrepresentational geometric shapes are exuberantly hued, well-defined and sharp-edged, and they are interrupted by euphoric swirls or by vague, cloudy patches and an occasional flash of a representational item, like a dog or a fly. They're layered, complicated and electric—just like the workings of the mind. Until scientists figure out how to live stream what human emotions look like and project them on a wall, Maria's work may be the closest thing we've got”.
Maria’s work can be found in permanent collections including the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA; Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; the di Rosa Preserve, Napa, CA; the de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA among others. She has been the recipient of awards such as a Masterminds Grant from the SF Weekly, San Francisco, CA; a grant from Artadia, New York, NY; and an Eisner Prize from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2014-15 Maria was an Artist in Residence at Recology (the San Francisco dump). She also completed a residency at Djerassi Artist in Residence Program in 2003, and was a Lucas Fellow at the Montalvo Art Center, Saratoga, CA for 2015-16. Presses including Gallery 16, San Francisco; Shark’s Ink, Lyons, CO; and Smith Andersen Editions, Palo Alto, CA have published her prints.
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