The Lady and The Dragon

The Graduate Archive

For the past seventy-five years the School of Art and Art History has collected thousands of artworks by artists attending the School's graduate studio programs. Each graduate student was required to leave behind a work they completed during their graduate studies here at the University of Iowa. The collection contains over 6,000 paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures and other art objects. The collection is unique in the country and provides a critical glimpse of academic American art over much of the last century.

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The Lady and The Dragon, Acrylic on canvas, 60" x 40", 2001

A native of Des Moines, Mary Kline-Misol earned both her BFA and MFA from Drake University, where she studied under Jules Kirschenbaum. Kline-Misol now maintains her studio in Panora, where she has spent the last decade working on painting in series. Large-scale still-lifes of exotic objects, friends, relatives and people she's met travelling, flowers and elements of nature, and a series of real and fictional characters relating to Charles Dodgson's Alice Through the Looking Glass have all been themes explored in her work.

The Lady and the Dragon is from the series "Conjure: The Story Puppets." The Wayang Golek Pole Puppets have a strong tradition in Java and Indonesia. Traditionally they are used in plays which run from dusk to dawn, representing scenes from the Hindu Vedas, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The characters depict episodes from the texts that teach a moralizing lesson about the battle of good and evil.This series of paintings include the pole puppets, juxtaposed with traditional Vanitas objects, such as extinguished candles, botanicals, and time pieces, that serve as reminders of the transitory nature of life. The Vanitas theme is one of the oldest approaches to still life painting. Elements of still life occur in Egyptian tomb paintings, and it is used today as a formal exercise and a vehicle for the painter to exercise skill in composition and lifelike rendering of detail and texture.

This page was first published on September 19, 2004.

Mary Kline-Misol's website

This page was first displayed
on July 03, 2017

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