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Blocky Wall-Hanging Pieces by Mary Obering

A geometric optical illusion paintingPA III - PS3, egg tempera and gold leaf on gessoed panel

Mary Obering is an American mixed media artist and painter. The artist’s works walk the line between painting and sculpture, usually taking the form of heavy, blocky wall-hanging pieces that combine elements of minimalist painting and geometric abstraction.

A geometric painting with planes of warm colour and gold leafBlocks V, egg tempera and white gold leaf on gessoed panel


Obering’s portfolio is very cohesive even across multiple decades of work. The artist’s paintings almost always consist of multiple rectangular panels, each painted or covered over with gold leaf. The juxtaposition of rich, textured planes of colour with panels of gold leaf lends the works a sense of opulence that invites the viewer to imagine their intended context.


I really enjoy the way Obering plays with perspective in some of her works, as well. In some recent paintings, the artist places colour and gold leaf along the edges of a canvas, creating a kind of double view -- the painting looks quite different from different angles.

A geometric grid painting with warm pastel tonesGiuliano 1, egg tempera and gold leaf on gesso

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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