Mary Esch is a two-time winner of the Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, a Jerome Fellow, and a Bush Fellow. She is known for her incisive drawing style, large-scale limited edition wallpaper installations, and portraiture.
Ms. Esch cut her teeth in the Twin Cities at Speedboat Gallery and Gallery Rebollosso in the early 90’s, had a blast showing at the Walker Art Center and New York City in the late 90’s, and has enjoyed the use of one of her paintings as an experimental jumping off point for three plays that premiered in 2001 in New York City. That was a perfect flip of experience because she often uses literature as inspiration for her own work.
For The Book of Bartholomew, Mary has created a wonderful interpretation of a very chaotic moment in the story Bartholomew and Geraldine. The aggressive pose of Geraldine and the passive pose of Bartholomew captures the energy of the relationship. All the while, Oliver the cat, is pouncing from on high. The pandemonium is high. The figures capture the moment, but Mary's technique of vertical lines contrasted with the roiling smoke-lines also captures the chaos that is ensuing. The "hot"colors also pull in this sensibility. The roiliing lines of smoke are used throughout the pages of the story as borders. Overall, it is a wonderful illustration.
To read stories from The Book of Bartholomew, click here