Mary Ramsden

United Kingdom 1984


Mary Ramsden
Mary Ramsden
United Kingdom
April 27, 2016

Mary Ramsden makes subtle and soft paintings, using wide and gestural movements to emphasize the interplay of colors and shapes. She cleans up the canvas from excessive references, so the interpretation can be grasped with no initial inclinations. Her theme is more than just abstraction. Behind the geometric shapes and powerful color palette hides the field of activity that, at times, cracks through the domain of calmness and causes a certain buzz. She balances between contradictions, tranquility and agitation, action and steadiness. Her perfectly balanced paintings require the full attention of the viewer, so the constant level of engagement must be maintained.

Mary Ramsden - The Dirtiest Selfie at 50pt (Part 1), 2014 (Left) / Detail (Right)
Mary Ramsden – The Dirtiest Selfie at 50pt (Part 1), 2014 (Left) / Detail (Right)

Sharp Edges with Lively Movement

Ramsden was born in London where she graduated from Royal Acadamy of Arts in 2013. She worked and painted in the UK for years, before she took residency in Connecticut, USA. Studying at the Academy shaped her as an artist, but her individual and independent take on abstractions and color took her far forward in the art world. Making things appear simple requires more work than it seems, and Ramsden really mastered the skill of effortless and minimal appearance. Her pieces offer very sophisticated insight in abstraction painting. She uses wide brush strokes, sandpaper and cloth wiping to create sharp edges and smooth surfaces. In her paintings, every movement counts as a subject.

Ramsden mastered the skill of effortless and minimal appearance

Mary Ramsden - Hurls Not Girls, 2015
Mary Ramsden – Hurls Not Girls, 2015

Swipe to Unlock the Pictorial Space

Her work has been included in Tate Britain’s exhibition called Vanilla and Concrete. Over the past few years, the artist exhibited her work in various places all over the London. With 2015 Swipe solo exhibition, Ramsden took a turn on modern technology which required perceiving her paintings in a more object-like perspective. She made paintings for this series on board, and added a neon edge to them, in order to mimic the artificial light of TV or computer screens. Not only her work induces magnetic engagement, she ingeniously adds a high-tech feel to her pieces. Inspired by sliding, scrolling and cropping, she imitates those movements and keeps her pieces alive, open, turned on.

Ramsden was inspired by sliding, scrolling and cropping movements

Mary Ramsden - Remote, 2014 (Left) / Detail (Right)
Mary Ramsden – Remote, 2014 (Left) / Detail (Right)

Movement to the Constant Flow

The feeling of movement and play allows her paintings to live and breathe. Even when her work is quietly displayed on gallery walls, it gives a certain feeling that it constantly changes. Sometimes it looks like something is falling over the edge, or that a certain object hides under the patch of color. That is the real appeal of Ramsden’s painting. The ability to tell so much and still leave something hidden that will haunt the viewer and inspire him to investigate. In our contemporary times, we always keep dozens of tabs open, on various screens, and the overlap of information blinds us to see the essence of what we were searching for. That is the sort of meaning that plays hide and seek in stunning paintings of Mary Ramsden.

Mary Ramsden lives and works in London.

All images used for illustrative purpose only, photo credits Tate Britain © Mary Ramsden

Featured image: Mary Ramsden – Portrait of the Artist (Detail), photo credits Royal Academy of Arts

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Mary RamsdenThe Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, USSolo
2016Salon Sebastian Monteux at Glasgow International 2016Glasgow, UKGroup
2015SwipePilar Corrias, London, UKSolo
2015I was once LonelynessBlain Southern, Berlin, DEGroup
2015Art Now: Vanilla and ConcreteTate Britain, London, UKGroup
2015Studio LeighStudio Leigh, London, UKGroup
2015The London Open 2015Whitechapel Gallery, London, UKGroup
2015I am here but you’ve goneFiorucci Art Trust, London, UKGroup
2015Tan Like ThatQueens Crescent, London, UKGroup
2014Panda SexState of Concept, Athens, GRGroup
2014ShaktiBrand New Gallery, Milan, ITGroup
2014New order II: British art todaySaatchi Gallery, London, UKGroup
2013ConsommeKinman, London, UKGroup
2013Open Heart SurgeryThe Moving Museum at The Vinyl Factory, London, UKGroup
2012Mary RamsdenPilar Corrias, London, UKSolo
2012Making FamiliarTemple Bar Gallery, Dublin, IEGroup
2012From New PerspectivesMarcelle Joseph Projects, UKGroup
2011Laurence Kavanagh, Simon Mathers, Mary Ramsden, Damien Roach, Cally SpoonerPilar Corrias, London, UKGroup
2010 Mary RamsdenAtticsalt Gallery, Edinburgh, UKSolo
2010The Moving GalleryNewcastle, UKGroup
2010Purity is MythPilar Corrias, London, UKGroup
2010Future PhaseThe Arches, London, UKGroup
2010Rag FactoryBrick Lane, London, UKGroup
2010Group showOpen Eye Gallery, London, UKGroup
2009KunskogFive Hundred Dollars, London, UKGroup
2009BilateriaFive Hundred Dollars, London, UKGroup
2009Summer ExhibitionRoyal Academy, London, UKGroup
2009New ContemporariesRoyal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, UKGroup
2009Best of BritishSwinton Park, Yorkshire, UKGroup
200920 YearsLeith Gallery, Edinburgh, UKGroup
2008Student ExhibitionRoyal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, UKGroup
2008Point of DeliverySlade School of Art, London- UKGroup
2008AusgangEdinburgh College of Art, UKGroup
2007The Lomellini FamilyMinto House, Edinburgh, UKGroup
2007Works on PaperThe Prince of Wales Drawing School, London, UKGroup
2006PatinaAtticsalt Gallery, Edinburgh, UKGroup
2005The Art of CareOcean Terminal, Edinburgh, UKGroup
2005CornucopiaAtticsalt Gallery, Edinburgh, UKGroup
2005Group ShowRed Door Gallery, Edinburgh, UKGroup
2005Young TurksAtticsalt Gallery, Edinburgh, UKGroup