Mary Lovelace O’Neal (American, born 1942)
silkscreen on paper
22 x 22 in. (55.88 x 55.88 cm)
Archival Collection of Marion Boulton Stroud and Acadia Summer Arts Program, Mt. Desert Island, Maine. Gift from the Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud Foundation, 2018.10.8.8. © Mary Lovelace O’Neal.
Artist, educator, and activist Mary Lovelace O’Neal cannot be confined to a single artistic movement. Embedded in her work are the influences of abstraction and expressionism. She primarily connects her work in abstraction to work coming out of the African continent, though American artists have also been a source of inspiration for her. Her work in abstraction was criticized by members of the Black Arts Movement for its lack of (obvious) social critique. Her work sometimes explores personal narratives, such as Dark Days. Created during her six-month printmaking residency in Paris, Lovelace O’Neal captures the cold and gloomy winter she experienced during her time in France. The darkness of the print could reflect her sense of isolation, as she considered herself an interloper among her printmaking cohort. Two corseted figures illuminate the composition, perhaps a reference to the restrictive dress customs for women throughout history.