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Artist: Mary Engel

Title: Rose

Date: 1990

Medium: Mixed Media

Size: 36″ x 40″ x 10″

Tradition: Aesthetic Objects

The Artist: Nationally recognized artist Mary Engel lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. A native of Chicago, she has exhibited in galleries and museums nationally since 1987, with a strong presence in southeastern museums. She is known for her whimsical and intriguing ceramic sculptures of animals, primarily dogs, covered with found objects such as coins, buttons, watches, and toys. Through their animated poses, Engel’s animals embody the delightful spirit and gratifying presence of animals in our world.

About the Artwork: The sculptural dog, Rose, has religious, mythic, and aesthetic significance for the artist. The animal image, especially the dog, is the fundamental theme in Engel’s art and philosophy. For the artist, the animal image symbolizes a bridge between the rational world of humans and the instinctual world of nature. Rose specifically illustrates the artist’s interest in ancient burial rituals, in which animal imagery is embellished with gems and precious stones. This practice is also evident in African and southern “memory” jars. By adorning animal forms with gems and discarded objects Engel aims to create a magical sense of time, memory, and place.

Last updated: 2/12/2020