Mary Visser

MARY VISSER  (1971 – )

Mary Visser is South African artist who paints abstracted landscapes drawing on her ongoing interest in city spaces, objects and signs. Mary explains, “I am in love with the process of making paintings. The sensuous delight of colour and mark thrills me. I’m on the hunt as I engage with the surface for those little moments of exhilaration.”
Born in 1971, Mary Visser graduated in 1992 with a BFA from Rhodes University, Grahamstown. She has had five solo exhibitions, the most recent being ‘Assembly’ at Everard Read’s Circa Gallery in Cape Town in February 2018. She has participated in various group exhibitions including ‘Out of Nowhere’ at Smith Gallery in 2017.

Her work is in collections including those of the University of Cape Town, Spier and the New Constitutional Court, Johannesburg.

In 2013 she completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Art, with distinction, at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town.

Mary Visser lives and works in Cape Town.

Artist Statement     February 2018

I am in love with the process of making paintings. The sensuous delight of colour and mark thrills me; the unexpected surprises of what happens after the first brush stroke is made. I’m on the hunt as I engage with the surface for those little moments of exhilaration.

My move from illusionistic landscape painting to abstraction occurred during my year of postgraduate study at Michaelis in 2012. This – and the birth of my son – has informed a shift of focus from depicting my immediate surrounds within the city of Cape Town to seeking to uncover an internal landscape. I realized I could compose a piece of music rather than write a story.

My most recent work attempts to create a kind of parallel universe of painted environments. I am prompted by what I can remember from walking and driving from home (in Rondebosch) to my studio (in Observatory) – a blue plastic bottle wedged into a hedge … bags of naartjies in orange netting on the pavement … the scrape of a broken branch dipping in a puddle. These fleeting moments become catalysts for mark-making that takes on a life of its own as I explore my internal response.

I am concerned with creating spaces that reflect a more personal, domestic, transcendental state of mind, while at the same time constructing a new space that may be fun to literally walk around in.

You see more of Mary Visser’s work on Instagram