Mary Weatherford (born 1963) is a Los Angeles-based painter. She is known for her large paintings incorporating neon lighting tubes. Her conduct yourself is featured in museums and galleries including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and the High Museum of Art. Weatherford's solo exhibitions include Mary Weatherford: From the Mountain to the Sea at Claremont McKenna College, I've Seen Gray Whales Go By at Gagosian West, and Like The Land Loves the Sea at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. Her feint has been allocation of activity exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University.
Weatherford was born in Ojai, California and raised in Los Angeles. She studied visual arts and art history at Princeton University, graduating in 1984. After graduation, she lived and worked in New York where in 1985 she was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow in the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art. She returned to Southern California in 1999 and later usual an M.F.A. from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. Early in her career she furthermore collaborated taking into account her late sister, the writer Margaret Weatherford, on conduct yourself art and worked as a bookkeeper for the player Mike Kelley.
A career breakthrough came in 2012 when Weatherford's Bakersfield Project exhibition at the Todd Madigan Gallery at California State University at Bakersfield where she was an artist in residence. The Bakersfield paintings marked the first time she incorporated illuminated neon vivacious tubes into her abstract paintings. The series was inspired by the colourful neon signs she saw on old restaurant and factory buildings even if driving with reference to Bakersfield.
Weatherford used neon in the Bakersfield Project and well ahead series of paintings, such as Manhattan (2013), Los Angeles (2014) and Train Yard (2016–2020) to recreate the sensations of specific places or moments. In an interview for Gagosian Quarterly she in imitation of said, ‘I try to depict or adopt not lonely a visual translation of a place in time, but in imitation of that, the scent, the sound, and the feeling. Is it chilly? Is it hot? Is there a clanging sound?’
Her enactment was included in the exhibitions Variations: Conversations in and Around Abstract Painting at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2014. That similar year she traditional the $25,000 Artist Award from the Artists' Legacy Foundation founded by Viola Frey. Examples of Weatherford's abstract paintings incorporating neon lights are held by the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, and the Hammer Museum. Another of her neon paintings, Past Sunset (2015), was shown at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in the 2016 exhibition NO MAN'S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection. Three examples of her early enactment combining acrylic, ink and screen print are held by the Brooklyn Museum: Madame Butterfly (1989), Violetta (1991), and First Riddle (1991).