"The Bible Studies"
July 5 - 27, 2014
"Mary does not choose to become the mother of God". I first encountered this intriguing work of art in 2013 when I was visiting the gallery of Kally Thurman in Hope, Idaho. Kally was a close friend of Lorna and she soon showed me the rest of a series of work by Obermayr completed during the decade following 1993. The suite of linocuts, called "The Bible Studies", consisted of a low edition of sixteen images executed on various paper types. The pieces in this exhibition were created when she was in her seventies.
The works in this show are crisply executed. They are saturated with symbolism associated with organized and disorganized religion. She writes and depicts the sometimes decadent stories of the Old Testament with an unencumbered fervor and glee. She laughs at our real life performances on the world stage. The images are laced with satire based on her feminist viewpoint and the viewer cannot help but smile discreetly at Lorna's depictions of our well known bible stories we all know and love in the Western world.
Lorna Obermayr was born in 1923 in Wisconsin. She moved to Pocatello Idaho in the mid-fifties. She was a mother, teacher, poet, and artist. Obermayr passed in 2009 in British Columbia. She produced and performed an epic poem entitled "The Book of Noah's Wife" at the Revelstoke Art Center in 2005. This exhibition at Redbud is one of the first commercial showings of Obermayr's works. Much of the printed information on Obermayr was included in a fascinating essay by Ben Mitchell in the literary magazine "Basalt" in 2013.
I hope you enjoy looking at these works with as much delight as I have. I regret that I did not have a chance to meet her while she lived, but I feel that I know her quite well through her art and poetry. Our show purpose is that this exhibition will help promote and publicize her work and memory for the enjoyment of those of us that follow her in life.
June 14, 2014