Mary Lang

  • Mary Lang

    Early morning fog, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, CA, archival pigment print, 20 x 30 inches, 2019.

    Early morning fog, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, CA
  • Mary Lang

    An Torr, view of Bidean nam Bian, near Glen Coe, Scotland, archival pigment print, 20 x 30 inches, 2017.

    An Torr, view of Bidean nam Bian, near Glen Coe, Scotland
  • Mary Lang

    Birds, winter, Purgatory Cove, Auburndale, MA, archival pigment print, 20 x 30 inches, 2018.

    Birds, winter, Purgatory Cove, Auburndale, MA
  • Mary Lang

    Hike to Borrego Palms, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, CA, archival pigment print, 20 x 30 inches, 2019.

    Hike to Borrego Palms, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, CA
  • Mary Lang

    Near the top of Devil's Staircase, Glen Coe, Scotland, archival pigment print, 17 x 23.5 inches, 2017.

    Near the top of Devil's Staircase, Glen Coe, Scotland
  • Mary Lang

    On the road to Lusketayne, Isle of Harris, Scotland, archival pigment print, 20 x 30 inches, 2017.

    On the road to Lusketayne, Isle of Harris, Scotland
  • Mary Lang

    Spider web, Rail Trail between Northampton and Hadley, MA, archival pigment print, 20 x 30 inches, 2018.

    Spider web, Rail Trail between Northampton and Hadley, MA

Artist Statement

I am always looking at landscape. I wake up and look out the window, almost as a touchstone to feeling my humanity, finding my place in a larger world. I love being a passenger in a car staring out at the world as it goes by. Even as a driver, I am still looking. I always book a window seat on an airplane. Whether it is my backyard, a mountain range, a pond or an ocean, a forest or a desert, landscape is a way of shaping space. As a photographer I arrange this space within the frame of my viewfinder, making it resonate with how I perceive the world. Where the horizon falls shapes the relationship between earth and sky, sky and water, or water and earth. A meandering path, or wave, or the shape of a hill draws one into the space. We feel big or small depending on how the landscape shapes the space.

For more than forty years, my discipline has been (and will continue to be) straight photography. My work is about looking and seeing, using the frame to capture the moment of perception. As a photographer, I am rooted in the phenomenal world, yet my subject matter is not so much the physical places in front of my lens, but rather the emotional and elemental quality of the space itself. Like the turning of a kaleidoscope, for a moment time stops, everything falls into place and I am part of the invisible pattern that holds the world together. Though standing on the earth, it still feels groundless. For so many years I photographed water as a way of exploring groundlessness. It turns out that photographing earth is groundless as well.

More and more, I try to express the possibility that we can trust our experience as it unfolds, moment by moment; that we can pay attention without fear to the details of everyday life, held within awareness without boundary. That awareness is the intimate space gazing out a car window or the atmospheric space of early morning fog. It is the contemplative inner space of a quiet ordinary moment, the space between the in breath and the out breath, a gap full of loneliness and possibility.

I wake up early every day. As I drink my coffee, I look out the kitchen window into the pitch black of a dark winter morning, or if it's summer, stand on the screened porch, and take in the beauty of the yard and the relative peace of my surroundings. But there's always a hole in my heart. The suffering, coarseness and cruelty, the chaos, aggression and confusion of the times we live in is always present as a shadow, always just a breath or a news alert away. Climate change haunts me. Realizing that the world I have known for my lifetime will not be the world that my grandson will grow up in makes the hole in my heart more like a crater. Every week, if not every day, somewhere in the world, in quiet ways or with destruction fast and inexorable, we are losing the earth that we love.

I did not set out to make photographs about climate change. I wanted to make photographs that were an emotional record of what it feels like to be a sentient being here on earth, to express the emptiness in the fullness of those moments, in those realms. The very existence of my humanness, however, implicates me as a participant in the anthropocene. Everything we do is changing our world, yet this is where we live.

Here, nowhere else.

Artist Bio

Mary Lang has been a member of Kingston Gallery for 20 years, and has served as director twice during those years. She was included in the 2004 DeCordova Annual Exhibit and was a recipient of an artists Grant-in-Aid award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation in 2006. She has been an artist-in-residence at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon and at the J. Alden Weir Farm National Historic Site in CT. Her work has been reviewed in The Boston Globe and Art New England; her 2014 one-person retrospective exhibit, Like Water, at the Trustman Gallery at Simmons College was reviewed by Mark Feeney. Her photographs are included in collections at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Fogg Museum at Harvard, the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, and the Fidelity Corporate Collection, among others and in many private collections. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Pratt Institute and a Bachelors of Arts from Smith College. She teaches meditation and Shambhala Buddhism at the Boston Shambhala Center in Brookline. The Bottom of the Sky, a 60-page book of photographs and haiku, in collaboration with poet David Rome, is available on lulu.com.

Exhibitions

Here, nowhere else, September 4-29, 2019
Wild Beauty: Photographs from Scotland, May 2-27, 2018
Wonderland: Landscape Photographs by Mary Lang, May 3-28, 2017
Relay, January 4-29, 2017
I Know Just What You're Saying, January 6-31, 2016
Nothing that is not there. December 2-27, 2015
Al Miner Selects: All Natural, September 2-27, 2015
Gazing Into Space, November 5-30, 2014
Inhabitants, December 4-29, 2013
All the Members: Gifted, September 4-29, 2013
Big HUGE small works, December 5-23, 2012
Raising the Gaze, October 3–28, 2012
XXX: Kingston Gallery Annual Members' Exhibition Thirty Years as an Artist Run Gallery, September 5–30, 2012
Kingston Gallery Annual Members' Exhibition, August 31-October 2, 2011
New Photographs, June 29-July 31, 2011

Press + Media

"Some additional words from artist Mary Lang." Kingston Blog, September 19, 2019.
Spring, Elin and Révy, Suzanne. "Best Photo Picks of September 2019!" What Will You Remember?, September 4, 2019.
Mary Lang: Here, nowhere else
Lang, Mary. "This one but not that one: Perception, Editing, and Meaning." Kingston Blog, Thinking About Art Out Loud, May 17, 2017.
Stepping into Wonderland: Landscape photographs by Mary Lang
"Photographic postcards from Mary Lang" Kingston Blog, Thinking About Art Out Loud, January 29, 2016.
"All Natural: A Conversation with Al Miner." Kingston Blog, Thinking About Art Out Loud, September 4, 2015.
Al Miner Selects: MFA Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art Conceptualizes a Kingston Members' Exhibition, September 2015.
Davidson, Deborah. "Art New England Review of Mary Lang's November exhibit." Kingston Blog, Thinking About Art Out Loud, January 19, 2015.
Davidson, Deborah. "Slow Down." Kingston Blog, Thinking About Art Out Loud, November 14, 2014.
McQuaid, Cate. "Outside and in touch." The Boston Globe, Arts: Galleries, November 11, 2014.
Davidson, Deborah. "Congratulations to Mary Lang on the review in The Boston Globe by Mark Feeney!!" Kingston Blog, Thinking About Art Out Loud, April 3, 2014.
Davidson, Deborah. "Mary Lang at the Trustman Gallery." Kingston Blog, Thinking About Art Out Loud, March 23, 2014.

Contact

www.marylang.com



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