Profile: Mary Grisey Artist Last Update:June 7, 2017

Remains of the Ephemeral I-IV, 2014. Cheesecloth, silk, cotton, sisal, unspun wool, horsehair, coyote fur, rubberlatex, black tea, dye, rusted steel. 24″ x 6″ (I), 30″ x 5″ (II), 22″ x 6″ (III), 32″ x 6″ (IV).

Mary Grisey is an American sculptural installation artist currently based in Toronto, Ontario. She received an MFA in the Visual Arts program at York University in Toronto, a BFA in Fiber and Material Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA in Painting and Drawing from Marist College. She has exhibited her work in New York, Chicago, Kentucky, San Francisco and Toronto.

She was recently awarded the Windgate full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center for the Spring of 2016. Select solo exhibitions include Of Becoming at York University (2014), Sung From the Mouth of Cumae at The Art Gallery of Mississauga (2015) and Cloth Dripping at Xpace Gallery (2016). Select group exhibitions include Refined Linen at Katzman Contemporary (2014), Long Winter at The Great Hall (2015) and Escape Plans at YTB Gallery (2015).

Selected Work

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Sung From the Mouth of Cumae, 2015. Handwoven and hand dyed linen, raffia, rust, bleach, earthenware and sound. 10’ x 9’ x 10’. Remains of the Ephemeral I-IV, 2014. Cheesecloth, silk, cotton, sisal, unspun wool, horsehair, coyote fur, rubberlatex, black tea, dye, rusted steel. 24″ x 6″ (I), 30″ x 5″ (II), 22″ x 6″ (III), 32″ x 6″ (IV). At the Edge of the Encircling Great Stream, 2015. Handwoven and hand dyed hemp/unspun wool, found wood and rusted metal. 8′ x 5′ x 4′. Numina of Akasha VI, 2015. Handwoven and hand-dyed linen and raffia, rust, black tea, earthenware. 8’ x 5’.
My Home, My Ocean, 2015. Handwoven and hand-dyed linen, found rope. 7’ x 12”. For Lethe, 2014. Handwoven and hand-dyed sisal rope, rusted steel and sound. 8’ x 4’ x 8’. Cradling: In Ruins, 2014. Found barn wood, hand-dyed and burned sisal rope. 6’ x 3’ x 4’. What Remains of the Ephemeral?, 2014. Handwoven and hand dyed sisal, cotton and wool. 15’ x 6’.
Shrouds, 2014. Handwoven and hand-dyed linen, horsehair and bleach. 8’ x 4’ x 3’. Relic of the Moirai, 2013. Handwoven and hand-dyed sisal, cotton and wool. 10’ x 8’.

Words

How do we understand, connect with and react to traces of the metaphysical?

My work is about becoming, a process that encompasses both doing and undoing; energy goes into my materials and then there is a natural or simulated process of destruction. Transformation is central to my practice: a metamorphosis that reveals the ruin and beauty of both the body and the psyche. With the intention of revealing layers and residual deterioration, I unravel, scratch, burn and peel parts of the work. I use many natural materials in my practice—particularly linen, sisal rope and dye—which exude a distinct smell and permeate the senses before the demanding visuality commands attention. This address to the olfactory helps to create an active environment rather than a static installation.

I am fascinated by the connection between the physical and metaphysical, and, in this vein, I take ancient mythology, metamorphosis, ruination and entropy as inspirations in my work. Like ruins, my works are only remnants of what was once whole; they are inscribed with traces of their previous life, death endured and the hereafter. My works embody these remnants that prefigure thought and feeling.