Biography Mary Koenen Clausen’s mixed media collages are rich in texture and image. Her works frequently are comprised of three visual fields or planes: the heavens, earth, and underworld. Figures composed of mismatched heads and bodies float among animals, icons, musical notes, and foreign texts on backgrounds thickly painted with deep hues. Mary sees the musical notes, symbols and foreign text, many of which she reproduces in her own hand, as messages emanating from her spiritual guides while channeling energy from other time and space dimensions. Hers is a truly unique creative process.
Mary says of her process: “Collage is a matter of refining design. I sit with the pieces scattered around me and they come together. I always think in terms of layers. I don’t treat collage differently from painting.” She gathers her material from Italian magazines, 17th and 18th century Bibles, antique books, among other sources. Mary also uses photographs of her surroundings in her work. Her home and studio are full of paintings, photographs, wall hangings, dolls, and other collected objects, an environment that reflects the complexity of her work.
Statement "Since childhood, I have had a lensing system that has permitted my access to a certain kind of knowledge. At about five years of age I became a voluntary mute. This was in large part because when I started school, I, like all the others were expected to gain all kinds of skills that had to do with socialization, and memorization. I felt increasingly conflicted with what was coming at me from the outside world in sharp contrast to all the feelings and perceptions I was gaining from listening to my own inside world- thus the lensing system was born. I simply shut out what I felt took away from my ability to gain “internal knowledge”.
What became my filtering process has stayed with me through all of my experiences in life. It is the source of my art and my life. Art became a very significant idea and activity for me from about age three and continues into the present. I have allowed my perceptions to become refined, and with this and my internal creative drive I have developed a natural process of what determines my images, use of technique, choice of colors, and overall designs in my work. This process is what I choose to call knowledge gaining.
The visual impact of my work can be experienced on many levels, depending on one’s individual readiness for receiving progressive levels of deeper and deeper internal feeling. The esthetic ideal of my work is to nurture and ready the soul to wake up to a much larger reality. The functional ideal of my work is to house in a two dimensional format the designs necessary for one to access a new perspective from which to view larger and larger bodies of ideas and consciousness itself. It is my greatest pleasure to be able to help bring in new languages of “being” from worlds that we can only guess at today, but which will hopefully help expand our worlds of tomorrow."
2018 UNWRAPPED. ArtServe, Fort Lauderdale FL IMPRESSIONS, Joint Show. The Gilded Pear Gallery, Cedar Rapids IA
2015 Olson-Larsen Gallery, Des Moines IA The Sanctuary Gallery, Iowa City IA
2007 Group Show, Olson-Larsen Gallery, Des Moines IA Annual Juried Exhibition, Augustana College, Rock Island IL Dubuque Museum of Art- Biennial Juried Exhibition, Dubuque IA
2006 Voices Group Show, Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque IA Group Show, Olson Larsen Gallery, Des Moines IA Joint Show, Mid-Coast Gallery West, Rock Island IL First Place, Annual Juried Exhibition, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL
2005 Group Show, Olson Larsen Gallery, Des Moines IA
2004 Group Show, Olson Larsen Gallery, Des Moines IA
1995 FEATURED ARTIST EXHIBITION, Gallery Ten, Rockford, IL
1994 SPIRITUALLY AND DEATH, A National Juried Show, Gallery 451, Rockford IL THE WORD IN ART, An Invitational Exhibition, Davenport Art Museum, Davenport IA
1993 Annual Juried Exhibition, Augustana College, Rock Island IL STATE OF THE ART 93, NE ART EXPO SHOW, Boston MA RIVER MARKET REGIONAL EXHIBITION, KCAC Gallery, Kansas City KS One Woman Exhibition, University Hospital, Iowa City IA
1992 One Woman Exhibition,, Quad Cities Arts, Rock Island IL
1991 One Woman Exhibition, Mimzi III Gallery, Davenport IA QUAD CITIES SHOWCASE SHOW, Davenport Art Museum, Davenport IA ARTISTS 1991 SHOW, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines IA One Woman Exhibition, Unity Gallery, Maharishi International University, Fairﬁeld, IA Inclusion in Iowa Arts Council Slide Bank
1990 QUAD CITIES SHOWCASE SHOW, Davenport Art Museum, Davenport, Iowa ONE WOMAN SOLO SPACE, Iowa City- Johnson County Arts Association, Iowa City IA
1989 One Woman Exhibition, Unity Gallery, Maharishi International University, Fairﬁeld IA QUAD CITIES SHOWCASE SHOW, Davenport Art Museum, Davenport IA One Woman Exhibition, St. Ambrose University Galvin Fine Arts Center, Davenport, IA Inclusion in Iowa Arts Council Slide Bank
Education University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls IA — B.F.A.
Private Collections Brunnier Art Museum, Iowa State University, Ames IA Liz Fanning, Portland OR Jan Hurt, Abingdon VA Kirke Financial Services Corporation, Des Moines, IA Sarah Morrison, Washington IA Mark Stevenson, Iowa City IA Len Walker, Austin TX