Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mario Petrirena

As part of our exhibition of works from the permenant collection on the fourth floor of Goldring Hall, Mario Petrirena's All Saints is currently on display. I first encountered Mario's work at the CAC during David Houston's temporary position as Curator at both the Ogden and the CAC. Immediately, I was intrigued by his intuitive assemblages, collages, installations and ceramics. The fascination has never left me.

Born in Cuba in 1953, Mario emigrated to America at 8, seperated from his his parents for months while they arranged to join him in the States. He now lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. Much of his work deals with that seperation and his bifurcated identity.

Mario cites many artists as influences on his work, from Picasso and Velazquez, from the inner driven works of Kahlo to the process driven works of Anna Mendieta. Regionally, it was the art pottery of George Ohr of which Mario has said "shook me to the core." Fittingly, a small collection of Ohr's pottery (the Mad Potter of Biloxi) is on view just steps away from Mario's unglazed white earthenware All Saints.

For more on Mario Petrirena and his work, visit:

Also, the gift shop at the Ogden carries the catalogue, Mario Petrirena, Conversations: Past and Present (including the essay Speak(Again)Memory, by David Houston).

Black and white images of Mario Petrirena by David Houston.
All Saints 1997 by Mario Petrirena.
The Known World, 2005 from the cover of Mario Petrirena, Conversations: Past Present and Future.

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