Using an array of media, Mary Belknap (b. 1944) subjects each artwork to her rigorous patterning and mark making. Made from short swatches of scribbled color and intersections of loose lines, her work hovers between the formal and the gestural. The repetitions of small marks coalesce as building blocks for the larger structures in her work, while discrete bits of color generate action and movement within the individual piece as a whole, allowing it to reform with each viewing, never settling on a fixed definition. Recently, her emphasis has shifted from covering the whole picture plane to only the edges of the paper, leaving segments empty space or “portals” for the imagination. And in comparison with the electric vibrancy of the works she made when she joined Creativity Explored in 1995, Belknap’s palette has also softened into a quiet elegance that intensifies the uniqueness of her mark making and composition.
Belknap’s work was chosen by CB2 as the basis for a limited edition rug and was also featured in Create, a traveling exhibition that first opened at University Of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in 2011. Belknap was nominated for SFMOMA's prestigious SECA Art Award in 2012.