Mary Ann Aitken Black Abstract

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Mary Ann Aitken Black Abstract

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Mary Ann Aitken Black Abstract 1983-2011 was an exhibition in two parts, presenting distinct chapters in the career of artist Mary Ann Aitken (b. Detroit, 1960 - d. New York, 2012). Running from June 7 - July 13, 2013, What Pipeline primarily exhibited early works, while the exhibition atTrinosophes focused on Aitken's late work. 

For more than three decades, Aitken was a voracious artist whose output of painting, works on paper, and mixed media collage was matched by a sense of intention that cut across her varied subjects. Though Aitken studied and worked among the recognized artists of the Cass Corridor, her own art has yet to be celebrated. 

Aitken's touch was not light. In the 1980s, she was a mark-maker who depicted her environment with a heavy palette. Thick layers of paint consumed whatever disposable material she could get her hands on, including linoleum tile, newsprint, cardboard, and used paper. Her rough, unmediated impressions of unconsidered objects and mundane street scenes reaffirm their existence. 

In 1989, Aitken relocated to Brooklyn where she worked as an art therapist. Her work from 2006-2011, the late period of her life, represents a shift toward impenetrable abstraction. Rocks, twine, tar, soot, shells, and other debris are buried deep in ragged canvas; the treasures she found were hardened into dark, ossified form. This exhibition also features multiples of her photographic documentation of sublime gardens and beach scenes from the family cottage in Amertsburg, Canada.

Mary Ann Aitken Black Abstract is a 96-page catalog documenting Aitken's work spanning 1983-2011 and these exhibitions of her work. Designed and published by What Pipeline in cooperation with Ed Fraga, artist and Aitken's life-long friend. Featuring an essay by Rebecca Mazzei, director of Trinosophes. 

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