international painting annual 6 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Catherine Mulligan
Philadelphia , Pennsylvania

detail image


Painting is how I come to understand and articulate my feelings about existing in the world, to put it as broadly as possible. Uncertainties, insecurities, and unmet hopes or desires I aim to contain and resolve through a painterly language that is as often elegant and precise as it is awkward, sprawling, chaotic and clumsy. This mixture of dichotomies is meant to correspond to the actual confusion of categories I experience in both my emotional and aesthetic feelings, on a personal level; seeing the funny in the sad, the beautiful in the hideous and destroyed, the monumental in the minor. Using many carefully developed layers through under-painting, sanding, drawing and over-painting, I am both looking to masters like J. M. W Turner and attempting to illustrate the revised and shifting ways the world exists to me. Often, this world is that of the suburban strip-mall or chain discount store, and includes the detritus of modern life. Text in my paintings (from transfer lettering or my own hand) often relates uneasily, unclearly to the ostensible subject, confusing any obvious interpretation. Thus, a central theme I explore is the impossibility of realism, that perception and memory are always tainted by inaccuracy and the bias of emotion. I make no attempt to overcome the flaws of the eye and hand (when compared to the objective camera lens), but instead expose the fragility of perception itself.





born: 1927, Nutley, NJ USA



Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 2009 Certificate
University of Pennsylvania, 2010 BFA


selected awards/honors

Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, 2014
Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, 2012
Maybelle Longstreet Prize, 72nd Annual Juried Exhibition, Woodmere Art Museum
Women's Board Travel Scholarship, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 2008


selected publications

Poets and Artists Magazine: Heightened Perceptions, Curated by John Seed, p. 15, 2015
Seed, John "Ten Memorable Paintings from 2014", Huffington Post, December 2014.


selected solo or two-person exhibits

Jenny Kanzler and Catherine Mulligan, PAFA Alumni Gallery, Philadelphia PA, 2015
Recent Work, F.A.N Gallery, Philadelphia PA, 2014


selected group shows

Visions from Emerging Artists: Privacy Made Public, New Hope Arts Center, New Hope PA 2015
Lillies, Figs, and Folly: Contemporary Still Life, Cerulean Arts Gallery, Philadelphia PA 2014
The Woodmere 73rd Annual Juried Exhibition, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia PA 2014
In Front of Strangers, I Sing: The Woodmere 72nd Annual Juried Exhibition, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia PA 2013



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