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Mara De Luca

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Washington, D.C.

Lives in
Los Angeles, CA

Works in
Los Angeles, CA


Representing galleries



Mara De Luca received a BA in Visual Arts from Columbia University in 1995 and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2004. As a painter, De Luca's practice poetically engages with tensions between abstraction and figuration. In Stations (2006-2007), a series of fourteen paintings inspired by Barnett Newman's Stations of the Cross (1958-1964), De Luca layers a disparate array of appropriated images drawn from television, commercial advertising, and Baroque painting on top of meticulously painted canvases of abstract color. Evocative of Newman's own painterly aspirations for "the whole canvas [to] become color and have a sense of light," De Luca's Stations are a meditation on the ideologies of mass media. The artist continues these explorations in her recent series of paintings that gesture toward the natural landscape and visual culture of Los Angeles. Titled Sipario (translated from the Italian as "theatrical curtain" or "scrim"), the series comprises atmospheric paintings that mimic digitally generated imagery; these works might be described as "hyper-analog" representations of light and space. De Luca has been included in numerous group exhibitions at venues including Galerie Chromosome, Berlin; AbstruseSpace, London; and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, among others. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.

-Cole Akers, 2012

General Artist's Statement

My work is a reflection on contemporary culture expressed though a diverse, project-driven and contextual approach to painting. Whether through an exploration of clichéd modernist technique such as "action painting" or by way of mimicking contemporary digital imaging tropes, I employ and exploit the complex range of the medium's history, its diverse visual contexts, theoretical constructs as well as material, process and craft.

A mirroring between process and representation is a central aspect to the work, whereby what is being represented and the means by which it is being represented share conceptual significance; the representation thus serves as a model for its critical content. Often, in developing process-content relationships, I invent new ways of "making" paintings; as a result, the projects display diverse aesthetics rather than a coherent "style". In some cases, I have employed a strategy of systematic processes to achieve painterly effects; the generated representations are a critical gesture voiced through the radical language of abstraction. In other work, I've implemented "expressive" or gestural, hand-made approaches as a means of investigating the opposite- the impersonal and pervasive realm of digital advertisement and media.

-Mara De Luca



M.F.A. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California 2004
B.A. Columbia University, Department of Visual Arts, New York, New York 1995


2013 Elegies Artist in Residence, Irvine Fine Arts Center (forthcoming)
2011 saltus fidei/ Leap of Faith Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
2010 CERCA Series: Mara De Luca Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
2004 Camouflages MFA Thesis Exhibition, CalArts Valencia, CA
2002 911: Flags and Mannah Abstruse Space, London, England
Political Pop: Mara De Luca and David Cerny
Galerie Chromosome, Berlin, Germany
2000 Wallpaper Campus Galerie der British American Tobacco, Bayreuth,Germany


2012 The Crash of Ruin Fitfully Resounds Curated by Carole Ann Klonarides, Luis De Jesus
2012 ARTrageous Palm Springs Art Museum Palm Springs, CA
2011 Abstract Smallness POST Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2011 Immanent Domain II Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2011 W.O.P.: Immanent Domain Part One West Los Angeles Community College
2010 Air Pressure Glendale College Art Gallery Los Angeles, California
2007 Suburban Sublime Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
2006 Decoys and Destructions: Nancy Buchanan, Mara De Luca, Hillary Mushkin, Martha Rosler. Overtones Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2005 Incognito 2005 Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA
2004 Supersonic Wind Tunnel, Pasadena, CA
2003 Transit: Video Works Gallery D301, CalArts, Valencia, CA
Drawings Studio 18, Los Angeles, CA
2002 Venus Project: Mara De Luca and Veronika Drahotova
Galerie Chromosome at Art Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany
2001 Text und Textur Galerie Chromosome, Berlin, Germany
2000 3. Senzker Symposium Schloss Senzke, Berlin, Germany


2012 Why Abstract? Kristina Newhouse, Peter Frank, Mara De Luca, Daniel Cummings and Eben Goff
Diane Rosenstein Fine Art, Beverly Hills, CA
2011 Faith, Hope and FX: Creating the Contemporary Sublime
In Conversation with Farrah Karapetian and Holly Myers
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
2010 Up For Discussion: Mara De Luca Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego


2005 Salon Series Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, (LACE)
2004 Echo Underground International Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA


2010 Believe in Yourself Material Press Online Artist Project


2010 Drive-By Stations Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
2000 Bordel/Boudoir Schloss Senzke, Berlin, Germany


British American Tobacco, Germany
Universitetets Kunstsamling University of Oslo, Norway
Alexander Plaza Berlin, Germany
New York Medical College, New York


Artweek L.A., April 2012, "Thirteen Questions: Interview with Mara De Luca", Tracey Harnish
Los Angeles Times,
January 22, 2012, "Pacific Standard Time: Young Artists Talk About the Sweeping Exhibit", Holly Myers,
December 12, 2011, "Mara De Luca at Luis De Jesus", Erik Reel
Huffington Post,
November 19, 2011, "Mara De Luca: Leap of Faith", Tracey Harnish
Notes on Looking,
October 21, 2011 "On and about..", Geoff Tuck
Los Angeles Times
, December 8, 2006, "Generational Differences", Holly Myers
Time Out London, July 10-17, 2002 "Mara De Luca: Abstruse Space", Martin Herbert
Tip Berlin Magazin, June 6 – June 19, 2002 "New Pop", Christina Wendenburg
Nordbayerischer Kurier, July 8, 2000 "Licht, Schatten und Stimmung...", Claudia Savelsberg
Nordbayerischer Kurier, July 14, 2000 "Die Rauten einer Berliner Romantik", Frank Piontek
!Szene Magazin, August 2000 "Faszination Weiblichkeit", Magazine Interview


WISO-ZDF, "Bezahlbare Kunst" Germany August 8, 2001
Journal-Oberfranken TV, "Campus Galerie" Germany June 20, 2000
Journal-Oberfranken TV, "Mara De Luca: Wallpaper Ausstellung" Germany August 1, 2000


L.A. Weekly "Best Unlikely Encounter with a Modernist Masterpiece- Frank Stella 1966 Irregular Polygon", October 2009
L.A. Weekly "Best Public Place to Peruse your Proust" October 2009


The Durfee Foundation Artist's Resource for Completion Grant 2009
CalArts Scholarship Award 2002, 2003
British American Tobacco Traveling Exhibition Grant 2002
Berufsverband Bildende Kuenstler: Atelier Buero Studio Subsidy Award 2001-2003

Recent Exhibits

Mara De Luca participated in these exhibits:

Mar, 2016 Mara De Luca: Driving Sunset
Edward Cella Art & Architecture
Jul, 2014 Thanks for the Mammaries Opening Reception
Apr, 2014 Freeway Studies #2: Inside the Quad
OTIS Ben Maltz Gallery
Nov, 2013 For All Intents and Purposes
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
Apr, 2013 De Stil
CMay Gallery
Mar, 2013 Elegies: A Project in Print
Irvine Fine Arts Center
Click here to see all exhibits for Mara De Luca
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