Mary Ann Unger
Fellow: Awarded 1992
Field of Study: Fine Arts
Competition: US & Canada
Mary Ann Unger was a celebrated sculptor best known for her large-scale works evoking the body, bandaging, flesh, and bone. She died of breast cancer in 1998. Roberta Smith wrote in her News York Times obituary, “[Mary Ann Unger’s] works occupied a territory defined by Eva Hesse and Louise Bourgeois. But the pieces combined a sense of mythic power with a sensitivity to shape that was all their own, achieving a subtlety of expression that belied their monumental scale.”
Born in 1945, Mary Ann was raised in New Jersey and received an undergraduate degree from Mt. Holyoke College in 1967 and an M.F.A. from Columbia University in 1975.
She had numerous solo exhibitions, at the Sculpture Center in New York City, the New Jersey State Museum, the Klarfeld Perry and Trans Hudson Galleries, both in New York City, and a posthumous, 15-year retrospective at the McDonough Museum of Art in Youngstown, Ohio, in 2000. In 2011, Mary Ann’s work was on view for the first time in over 10 years in "Geometry: Selected Works from the Estate of Mary Ann Unger" at Maxwell Davidson Gallery in New York City.
She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1992, was the recipient of Pollock- Krasner Foundation grants in 1989 and 1995, and was a resident fellow at Yaddo in 1980 and 1994.
Mary Ann Unger’s works have been reviewed in The New York Times, Sculpture Magazine, Art in America, and The Village Voice, among many other publications.
Her works are included in numerous private and public collections, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and the High Museum of Art.
All inquiries into Mary Ann Unger’s work should be directed to the Mary Ann Unger Estate, which was founded in 2008 to further the understanding, appreciation, and ongoing placement of her work.