Mira Cantor

  • Mira Cantor

    Wow, Acrylic, 120 x 60 inches, 2016.

  • Mira Cantor

    Inside Out, Acrylic, 56 x 72 inches, 2016.

    Inside Out
  • Mira Cantor

    Outside in, Acrylic, 60 x 70 inches, 2016.

    Outside In
  • Mira Cantor

    Turlough, Acrylic, 54 x 64 inches, 2016.

  • Mira Cantor

    The Time When, Acrylic, 54 x 64 inches, 2016.

    The Time When

Artist Statement

I.E. (Inundation Era) Mira Cantor 2016

I present these new paintings as both alarming and palpable seascapes. I have spent a sabbatical working on the west coast of Ireland where the sea and land are in a perpetual dance, where the line between them is always in flux. My time in Ireland coincided with the 100-year anniversary of "The Rising," the long struggle of the Irish to form their own Republic. The rising of the sea and the rising of the Irish people are subtly incorporated at the edges of some of the paintings, through the colors of their flags. The ocean takes on the "between," a metaphor for all disparities and separations but also a force that unites. The paintings allude to political and social barriers as these walls of water hover.

For millennia the ongoing inundation of the Nile River gave life to arid land, making it sustainable for food production. However, the coming inundations from the ice melt in both poles (Arctic and Antarctica) will be beyond what man is capable of controlling. Our cities and coastlines will be flooded beyond recognition. The pure water that we reap from rivers, rain, and natural sources are diminishing. Soon water will become our most expensive resource.

The coastline on the west coast of Ireland keeps eroding from year to year. The rain and surf continue to bombard the coast and diminish it. The paths once walked are no longer. The coast has slid back to a new place: places and spaces changing rapidly with angrier storms and intense flooding. For the last eight weeks, I have been inundated with the sound of howling wind and the turbulent Atlantic Ocean creeping its way further inland carving out a new shore.

The places we inhabit shape the people we are. When we move through spaces we feel and sense things. I decided to live on the coast a few hundred feet from the water's edge, where I watched the patinas of mercury-colored water hitting the shore. The brittle surface of the Burren, 250 square kilometers of limestone hills, feels ancient—mystical and magical—as if we are walking on old souls. Listening to the news of more Syrian drownings, I realized how the sea divides but also unites. There are sea roads dating back before Rome built its land roads. The naturalist Robert Macfarlane in his book "The Old Ways" comments on how " The discovery of sea-roads necessitated a re-imagining of the history of Europe. The coastal settlements become points of arrival and departure becoming a continuous territory of their own, sharing culture, technologies, crafts and languages. The Atlantic was their common frontage." I imagined, as I looked out on its frontage, the ships coming and going.

Artists have depicted water over time as both meditative and anxious. The rhythmical wave movements can become a mesmerizing dance or a natural phenomenon that leaves us in awe. The feelings and sensory experiences-what we see, hear, touch and taste- are essential to our responses to the world. Our creations and ideas keep us connected to our experiences. These paintings provoke an awareness of separation and connections between nations, countries and people as well as the terror and awe in our natural world.

—Cantor April 2016 Ballyvaughn Ireland

Artist Bio

Mira Cantor received a BFA from the University of Buffalo and an MFA from the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana. Both degrees are in painting and drawing. Her work is in many collections in the US and abroad including The Contemporary Arts Center, Honolulu, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Simmons College Collection, The Danforth Museum to name a few. She has shown her work at the Venice Biennale, Biennales in Norway and Yugoslavia, The Tokyo American Center, The Cultural Center in Alexandria Egypt, Gallery Lohrl in Germany, The Genovese Sullivan Gallery in Boston, The De Cordova Museum in Boston. She has been a member of the Kingston Gallery since 2013 and will have her second solo exhibition there in October 2016. Mira Cantor has taught art her entire career. She was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT from 1978-80 where she taught drawing in the School of Architecture. She also received a Fulbright to Egypt in 1994 to teach at the University of Alexandria. At present she is a Professor of Art at Northeastern University in Boston where she has been teaching for 25 years.


Inundated, October 5-30, 2016
I Know Just What You're Saying, January 6-31, 2016
Mira Cantor en plein aire drawings, 2013, November 5-30, 2014
Ground Cover: Contemporary Abstraction between Figure and Ground, curated by William Kaizen, September 3-28, 2014
Meltwater, December 4-December 29, 2013

Press + Media

"Promiseland and political upheaval." September 20, 2018.
"Erratics at Kingston Gallery: Mira Cantor." Take Magazine, November 2017.
McQuaid, Cate, "Mira Cantor: Inundated." The Boston Globe, Art: Galleries, October 19, 2016.
Billman, Glenn, "NU Professor Debuts New Gallery Exhibit." The Huntington News, October 13, 2016.
McQuaid, Cate, "Icy Truths." The Boston Globe, Theatre & art, December 17, 2013.
Davidson, Deborah, "Contradictlng Beauty." Thinking About Art Out Loud, December 16, 2013.
Richardson, Milda, "'What is Athabasca?' Paintings by Mira Cantor at Kingston Gallery." Big Red and Shiny, December 13, 2013.
Brown, Linda Leslie, "NEW Gallery Members at Kingston." Thinking About Art Out Loud, September 25, 2013.
"Sophia Ainslie and Mira Cantor at Northeastern University." Thinking About Art Out Loud, April 12, 2013.



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