Mira Cantor

  • Mira Cantor

    Woven 2, watercolor on paper, 30 x 22 inches,2021.

    Woven
  • Mira Cantor

    Woven 1, watercolor on paper, 30 x 22 inches, 2021.

    Woven
  • Mira Cantor

    Pool, watercolor on paper, 48 x 48 inches, 2020.

    Pool
  • Mira Cantor

    Dancer, watercolor on paper, 11 x 16 inches, 2020.

    Dancer
  • Mira Cantor

    Carry Me, watercolor on paper, 11 x 16 inches, 2020.

    Carry Me
  • Mira Cantor

    Blue Sky, watercolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches, 2020.

    Blue Sky
  • Mira Cantor

    Cat's Eye, pencil and watercolor on paper, 2020.

    Cat's Eye
  • Mira Cantor

    Corona, watercolor on paper, 11 x 16 inches, 2020.

    Corona
  • Mira Cantor

    BIrth, watercolor on paper, 16 x 20 inches, 2020.

    Birth
  • Mira Cantor

    Woven World, sewn canvas and acrylic, 28 inches in diameter, 2021.

    Woven World

Artist Statement

Most of 2020 had me rolling my eyes in disbelief and tossing and turning in my sleep.

The slow turning of the election as the mail-in-votes were counted—with eyes glaring above masks--divided our nation. We watched the murder of a Black man rolled over on his stomach handcuffed, as a police officer pressed on his neck till his last breath. The peaceful protests marched down the street into police barricades, as city folks united for fairness and justice. We could see pain, anger, loss and frustration in each other's eyes as Covid turned into a world crisis. I watched the news and the stress on people's faces. We were all together fighting a common enemy albeit differently. I photographed talking heads and thought about injustice, and the rolling and turning of bodies in the ICU's. Our divisiveness brought on an insurrection as people turned against those who hold us together as a nation, serving all our interests.

We are all spokes on a wheel. We need to turn this wheel together and steer it towards our common humanity. The mask erased our face and revealed our eyes. Hopefully we can redress bias with new understanding when we take them off and see our faces again.

Since the 1960's issues of unfairness have been part of my life and work, beginning with Women's Lib, March for Freedom, Black Power. As Marvin Gaye kept singing then, "what's going on" we are still asking the question and the issue of "them and us" keeps on "going on." In 1984, I produced a one-person exhibition called Integrations: Drawings, Sculptures and Conversations which started at Northeastern University's now defunct Dodge Gallery and travelled to the Contemporary Arts Center in Honolulu. I designed an environment with black and white sculptures looking at my drawings on the wall of the gallery, while my conversations with the people I had drawn was playing through a sound system. The show focused not only on the unique character of the individual but also on how our concerns with issues of safety, our children, equity, etc. are mutual.

Racism has not disappeared although now there seems to be more outrage from those who want fairness, justice and inclusion, which is a step in the right direction. We are all part of the same wheel wanting to move forward; our eyes see the same things but interpret them differently. Education available for all is our only way to ameliorate bias. I have lived long enough to know that there has been progress but equity still depends on those who are in charge. Marvin Gaye's words still reverberate as I recall dancing in Black clubs through college; riding the integrated subway in New York and dancing to Tito Puente's Latin band in large hotel ballrooms in Manhattan. Questioning someone's abilities due to the color of their skin made no sense to me. You were a good dancer or you weren't. There were both Black and white people dying of drugs, dying in the Vietnam War and dying of poverty and lack of health care. My brother committed suicide. Now I see other wars, people still dying of drugs, the same inequities and lack of health care. Change in the world often comes with baby steps and at a price. In 2020 we saw deaths from a virus and learned that we need to save the human race by wearing a mask and getting vaccinated. Not everyone agreed. One third of the US is now vaccinated after the loss of 500,000 people. An insurrection and an ineffectual president cost lives. What did we learn? We need leaders to set examples that are good for everyone to make things better for everyone. What can I do? What I have always done. Make art. "Kunst ist gut fur sich" to quote Goethe. Making art was the only way my ex-husband could deal with his own lessons of atrocities in a war in which he was forced to engage. Art questions. We make it and show it to get at our truth and change the way we view each other. We are here to serve and make the world a better place by putting something back into it that tries to make sense to most. We all know what fairness is but fear prevents us from being objective about it. Art can clarify issues and create a dialogue for understanding.

I teach painting and color theory. Painting has deeper meaning than understanding a color wheel. It is the mixing of the color wheel that produces nuances in paint and ones own unique palette. We are all color mixtures. We are all a variety of humanity as seen in great works of art. Look into each other's eyes; see someone through that lens while sharing the wheel (like time) that rolls in perpetuity.

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, and The Danforth Museum at Framingham State University. 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, and the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln. She has been a member of the Kingston Gallery since 2013 and will have her fourth solo exhibition there in September 2021. 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. Cantor also received a Fulbright to Egypt in 1994 to teach at the University of Alexandria. Currently, she is a Professor of Art at Northeastern University in Boston, where she has been teaching for over 25 years.

Work available on Artsy

Exhibitions

Woven, September 1-26, 2021
Disturbing the Peace, group show on Artsy, July 26-August 31, 2021
Power, Bodies, group show on Artsy, May 3-31, 2021
Off The Wall, group show on Artsy, March 1-31, 2021
In SHAPE, group show on Artsy, December 1-31, 2020
Pangaea and Panthalassa, group show on Artsy, September 30-October 31, 2020
Figuratively Speaking, group show on Artsy, June 24-July 31, 2020
Under Siege, March 4-June 21, 2020
Promiseland, October 31-December 2, 2018
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

Woven, Press Release, July 6, 2021.
"In the Project Space: Mira Cantor: Under Siege." Kingston Blog, March 5, 2020.
Under Siege, Press Release, January 15, 2020.
Martin, Nat. "Discussing the Promiseland," Kingston Blog, December 4, 2018.
Allara, Pamela. "Thoughts on Promiseland," Kingston Blog, November 27, 2018.
"Mira Cantor: Promiseland and Judith Brassard Brown: Dreams Within," Kingston Blog, November 5, 2018.
"Mira Cantor's Promiseland," The Improper Bostonian, November 1, 2018.
"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.

Contact

www.miracantor.net




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