Mary King: Beautiful Industry

Beautiful Industry, by Mary King

March 9 – June 2, 2013

Beautiful Industry takes an unexpected look at steel mills and other industries that are still in operation in and near Chicago and Detroit.

The lovingly crafted works show the feel of industry: the flames, the amazing clouds of steam, the remarkable structures, the air that makes your chest hurt, the swollen fish in a poison canal, the swampy area now replaced by pollution. The works are simultaneously poignant and celebratory.

This series evolved from sketching the mills in Gary from as close as the security guards allowed, and from sketching and photographing industrial sites in Detroit — which surprisingly has a working steel mill. The project concludes with a visit to a forging plant in Chicago just before the 2012 election.The resulting commentary is mildly political but nonjudgmental, matching the positive tone of the series. — Mary King, 2013

Mary King has exhibited her work in solo shows at Denise Bibro Fine Arts in New York, NY; the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Kalamazoo, MI; and Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, IL. She holds a BFA from The University of Chicago and an MA from Western Michigan University.

image: Beautiful Industry: Hot, 2011, Acrylic on Dura-Lar Collage, 17 x 21.5 inches
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