Emily Weiner:Mater Mundi
Oil on linen in painted wood frame
35 x 29 inches
Emily Weiner’s work explores art historical motifs and recurring symbols which the artist refigures through a feminist and Jungian lens. In particular, Weiner seeks to investigate how reconfiguring these symbols can generate new understandings across generations and how imagery and its attached meaning can evolve.
Mater Mundi which translates from the Latin to Mother of the World takes as its central motif two raised hands suspended over a dawning landscape. The gesture is taken from depictions of Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World), which is a frequently depicted imagining of Christ, painted by Leonardo da Vinci, Hans Memling and Albrecht Dürer, among others. In Weiner’s depiction the hands are disembodied and doubled, emerging from rich drapery that buttresses the canvas. The artist states ‘the hands here become a feminine embrace of an already divine landscape – rather than a suggestion that a heavenly force may one day save an inevitably tainted world.’
Weiner’s recent series of works, from which Mater Mundi is taken, draw inspiration from imagery relating to paradox and performance. The artist sees parallels between the realm of painting and the realm of theatre, where actions can be manipulated outside of the rational constraints of our physical world. This understanding is heightened by an exaggerated skyline which moves from a deep red to a pale orange, skewing the painting’s temporal framework.
Building her canvases over time using many layers of paint, which lend the work a luminous quality, Weiner finds synchronicity in combinations of form, colour, and symbols. The artist builds bespoke frames for her paintings, which are then painted to elevate them beyond an element of ornamentation to become an inherent part of the work that demarcates a space of suspended disbelief.
B. United States1981
Emily Weiner’s practice examines art historical imagery and repeated motifs which she reimagines through new perspectives, in particular investigated these symbols through a feminist and Jungian lens. Weiner seeks to investigate how reconfiguring these symbols can generate new understandings across generations and how imagery and its attached meaning can evolve.
Weiner receive a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University before graduating with an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Her work has been exhibited in the United States, Italy, Norway, China and Canada. She is the 2021 recipient of the Current Art Fund from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts & Tri-Star Arts.