April 11, 2021 Taos, New Mexico

The Harwood Museum of Art

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Friday, October 6 - Monday, October 30, 2017

TJ Mabrey: On The Square

Gallery: Studio 238
TJ Mabrey
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The artist on her work: “Though I am primarily recognized as a sculptor of stone, paper has always been my secondary medium of choice, going back to the late 1970s. My exploration of embossed paper and cellulose pulp (the origins of paper) is the focus of my current work.

“I have limited the direction of these new experiments by my use, and consideration, of the square. The foundation of the work is embossing the paper, which is done on a large etching press, or by hand, pressing pulp through a template. The resulting pieces of paper and pulp are then incised, folded, manipulated, repeated, possibly painted, and made available for an endless modular installation, though the occasional single unit may seem worthy of framing.

“This repetition of process is used to call attention to the variation within the sameness of each piece of paper. At the same time, it helps deny closure of an installation presented in a modular format, which could be continued up, down, or sideways, ad infinitum, while still allowing the work to stand as a complete work at any point.

“Repetition is found in patterns of nature. It is intrinsic to science, where repetition is used to verify a hypothesis. It is found in the structure of DNA and the study of genetics. Repetition in art can be a useful tool to express abstracted ideas in nature and science. And so, I am exploring the concept through paper.”

TJ Mabrey’s life and work is far-reaching. After one year in Central America, following her marriage to J Stephen Mabrey, the couple returned to Dallas, Texas where TJ studied with Master Sculptor Octavio Medellin for four years. In 1980, she established a carving studio in Pietrasanta, Italy where she worked for 2-3 months annually. In 1986 her husband's work in the U.S. Foreign Service took them to Singapore where TJ worked and exhibited before they settled in Cairo, Egypt in 1988. During her four years in Cairo she worked in a stone studio near the pyramids and organized four exhibits of her work.

During these years, TJ continued her annual trip to Italy, even after returning to the US in 1992 when she and Stephen established their home and TJ's studio in Central Texas. In 2011 the time came to close her Italian studio and move, with her husband, to Taos, New Mexico, USA. TJ opened Studio Santiago in Taos, New Mexico in May 2014.

Mabrey’s designs and sculptures are prominent in private collections in the United States, Canada, The Netherlands, Egypt, Lebanon, Italy, and the Orient.