Mara Modlin grew up in the United States. She received her B.A. from the University of Arkansas in lithography and drawing. She continued her pursuit of art, studying intaglio, ceramics, welding, and sculpture, resulting in a career that has spanned 35 years. Modlin’s works have been mostly commissioned and privately collected. 

Modlin has travelled to over forty countries and lived in seven. This wanderlust has enabled her to explore different cultures, and to adapt what she observed and learned into her work. She now resides full time in Wanaka, New Zealand, creating thought provoking, figurative sculpture in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.


The Work

Modlin's sculptures capture the human condition. The figures inspire the viewer to connect with the space they inhabit and the emotions they express. Her obsession with  movement and with the figure in action, led her to explore the raw form, at first with charcoal and clay and then expanding to wire and textiles. 

With our hyper-connectivity to media and objects, our focus on ourselves and nature has taken a back seat. Modlin seeks to champion the spiritual and sublime, exploring the exalted human in space. Clay is her medium of choice when expressing the raw power of the form. She uses not only the positive space to create the energy and movement, but also the negative space in which the figure inhabits to reach out and engage the viewer. 

Recently Modlin has moved into utilising wire to explore the line of the form, much like a pencil drawing. Each wire describes the many planes needed to create a three dimensional figure. This material really captures the momentary or transitory quality in the subject, and therefore gives it a spiritual and emotional impact.

This is the focus of her work: utilizing varied materials and surfaces to enhance the figure's emotion and action. Thus, the mission with all of Modlin’s work is to engage, inspire and motivate the viewer, hoping that her figures evoke the power and magic in the every day.