Rose Marie Prins’ mixed-media paintings and sculptures have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in museums, cultural centers and galleries throughout the United States, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Bayley Art Museum at University of Virginia in Charlottesville; the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida; the Gulf Coast Museum in Largo, Florida; the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe; the Bridge for Emerging Contemporary Art Gallery in New Orleans; Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, New Jersey; the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Sweet Briar; the Erector Square Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut; the Courtyard Gallery in Alameda, California; the Merlin Gallery in San Francisco; and the Woman’s Building in Los Angeles.
Her work is in public, corporate, and private collections in the United States, Canada and Europe including the Jonson Gallery at the University of New Mexico; Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Alfonso Architects in Tampa, Perconti Data Systems in St. Petersburg and Creative Network, Toronto.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including residency fellowships at the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts in Louisville, Kentucky, the Hambridge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap, Georgia, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Sanskriti Kendra in New Delhi, India.
Rose Marie Prins received a PhD in Studio Art from The Union Institute and University, an MA in Art from Goddard College, and a BFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute.
I am involved with the tactile, sensuous aspects of materials, many of which are nontraditional. The source of my inspiration is the reaction that occurs when compounds are mixed or the changes that take place over time as objects weather. I am also inspired by the variation of colors and textures of soil from various parts of the country.
Found objects acquire new identities and metaphorical meaning. The work becomes akin to a relic that bears the imprint of time. Each piece is a documentation of my surrender to its daemon or spirit. As layers are added, building a textural surface, I am simultaneously unearthing an abstraction of my autobiography: the work is an external metaphor for an internal process; it attests to my own emotional, spiritual and intellectual journey.
By incorporating stitching into my work I am reclaiming not only women’s craft but a tradition in my own family: my grandmother was a dressmaker and some of my earliest memories are of my mother at her sewing machine.
Much of my work goes through a process of wounding and healing. The wounding is a violation: I tear or slash the canvas or paper; or burn portions of it with acid or a blow torch. I then repair the wound, an amelioration of pain and loss that is part of the human condition.
My conceptually themed, multimedia sculptural installations incorporate many or all of these processes and materials.
“Prins achieves a luminous and shimmering formal elegance in the work and arrives at a moment where the sensual, the spiritual, and mythological blend in a marriage of materials and psychological insight. It’s as if we’re looking at a liquid surface with a fire lit below it, or a level of fire born out of a liquid heat… In the work of Rose Marie Prins a deeply satisfying balance is reached between a conceptual elegance that comes to embody an idea through a choice of diverse materials and metaphysical abstractions regarding the mysterious and the unknown. Prins’ work takes its place in the continuum of world mythology, archetypal psychology, and cross-cultural spiritual practice without falling prey to spiritual or mythological stereotypes.”
—Diane Armitage, Visual Arts Coordinator, Aphrodite’s Temple/The Golden Serpent, The Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM
“Rose Marie Prins’ totally abstract works [in an exhibition titled] Aphrodite’s Temple/The Golden Serpent use the the relationship between idea and image in a similar way as Twombly. The rather minimal, unstretched canvases, painted with mixed media, have the eroded surfaces of ancient walls. Against this appears the recurring motif of a kind of directional arrow that implies an abstruse, symbolic meaning. My favorite piece, Nigredo #2, is made up of four panels sewn together and a range of mysterious dark grey and black tones with the arrow form in the center that seems to reverberate into the rich darkness.”
–Don Fabricant, Inner and Outer Places, The Santa Fe Sun
“Prins’ mixed media works probe the notion of trauma and healing, destruction and rebirth. She slashes or burns her canvases, then repairs the wounds with wire stitches that branch off like waterways or coalesce surprisingly into crosses. She colors the canvases beneath the suture-like stitches with the bruised tinges of healing flesh, the blackened effect of a burn, the signals of pain that precede recovery, metaphors she naturally associates with life. Prins’ work voicelessly discloses a self portrait.”
–Curtia James, Gallery has brought six artists together for a “conversation,” Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Some of the strongest art currently showing in the Tampa Bay area is the work of South African-born … Rose Marie Prins… Though her visual language speaks to some of the most powerful sociopolitical issues of our time, she also ‘reveres process.’ Hers is cathartic, with surprisingly violent aesthetic impulses like gouging, burning or slashing. ‘Wounding’ the canvas is followed by ‘healing’ rituals with copper wire stitches… Yet the stitching seems more philosophically empowered than a feminine gesture.”
–Adrienne Golub, Biographical Touchstones, Weekly Planet
“Raymond Lawrence Gallery continues the international theme with South African émigré Rose Marie Prins, whose Joseph Beuys-like paintings form their dark crosses from cuts, scars and found metallic objects. One large, powerful unstretched canvas consists of nothing more than a broad field of artfully cultivated mold stains plus a few strokes of black paint. As in Prins’ moth sculptures of cast paper and animal bone, placement is everything.”
–Jerry Cullum, A Tula Smorgasbord: Botanicals, Birds, Abstraction, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“I liked the mixed-media work of South African Rose Marie Prins… Her small, elegant wall-hung pieces with encaustic-like surfaces reveal linear components exuding quiet intimacy.”
–Adrienne Golub, It Takes a Village, Weekly Planet
“In Prins’ works, her canvas is transformed by paint, found objects and fabric into evocative metaphors for the artist’s experiences and concerns. A native of South Africa, Prins expresses… concern about apartheid in her work. The atomic bomb and the treatment of women in developing nations are other strong themes.”
–Esther Hammer, Artist Incorporates Found Objects Into New Metaphors, The Tampa Tribune
“The 12th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibition at the Arts Center is more somber and introspective than those in recent memory. Whether this reflects more the taste of the juror — Richard Vine, managing editor of Art in America — or a current trend among artists is hard to say… Rose Marie Prins’ mixed media work Sackcloth and Ashes… is a textured field of dark neutrals riven by a ‘wound’ of wax opening along the center of the canvas, stitched together by wires.”
–Lennie Bennett, Fresh From Florida, The St. Petersburg Times
“Rose Marie Prins’ small, mixed media, wall-hung works… were generated by over thirty years devoted to the practice and study of yoga… Prins’ focus on yoga, like all of her oeuvre, fuses the Duchampian found object legacy with a labor intensive process based on alchemical models of transformation… During an extended fabrication process it’s not unusual for the artist to weather her work outside. Less obvious, but not undetectable, is the artist’s practice of embedding her remarkable biography into art teeming with metaphor…
Her most successful works consisted of fabricated textured fields of background angst stabilized by small classically-centered and perfectly-placed found objects. In the outstanding Maya, a metal grid covers a central circle fastened by copper wire forming a cross. Small found objects intentionally trapped below a scratched and gouged surface resemble microscopic views of organic material, or topography transformed by a skin of impenetrable encaustic lava.
It’s impossible to ignore African art as another touchstone based on symmetry and coloration. Though solidified by encaustic, Prins’ surfaces are enlivened by shimmering flecks of gold, coagulated rivulets of ochres, and restrained copper.”
–Adrienne M. Golub, Art Papers
“Prins presents us with a … cerebral melancholia in her heavily worked canvases, which could be described, with their slashes stitched together with coarse wire, as mutilations. She has begun adding found objects to them… they enrich her aggressive technique, as in Chiti Shakti, on which a piece of metal curves across the surface like an injured spine held with a crude pin… Two departures from her somber palette, Dervish Dance and Shaman’s Dance, are fabulous expressionist swoops of black against dense and vibrant blue and tan.”
–Lennie Bennett, Inspired by Experience, The St. Petersburg Times
“Throughout her career as an artist Rose Marie has been profoundly affected by the world… and the questions that she had about phenomena that she observed around her… Rose Marie’s work is rich in texture, thoughtful, thought-provoking and, ultimately, optimistic.”
–John Roll, Varied Paths: An Artist’s Journey, Northeast Journal
“[Rose Marie Prins] skillfully blends the poetry and history of … women to create her personal metaphor. The poem’s calligraphy is accompanied by her renderings of a woman, centuries ago held captive by Native American Indians, her thoughts and feelings about her ordeal, and final release. Like an accordion-type book, you unfold the mystery in time, and it ends where it begins.”
–Lydia G., Artists Choose Artists @ Rob Davidson Fine Arts, Art Taco
“While her artistic inspiration is derived from her perceptions of the nature of femininity, mixed-media artist Rose Marie Prins creates work that’s anything but ladylike. An abstract expressionist, Prins is one of those artists who strives to push the materials she works with to their physical limits … Prins’ creations run the gamut from geologically primitive to complexly brittle.”
–John Villani, Pushing materials to physical limits to reflect the feminine, The New Mexican
“Social commentary is apparent in several of the most recent works. Alchemy and Aphrodite (1989), an oil and bone piece by Rose Marie Prins, is dramatic, a gold background with a sensual, black split triangle in the foreground. A small bone construction is suspended in front of the piece. The work has a distinctly feminist feeling.”
–John Iacometti, Helms can’t beat ’em, so he joins ’em in modern art show at Jonson Gallery, The Albuquerque Voice
“One large swath of slashed canvas wears thick, regal coats of metallic gold and silver. But most of the paintings in Rose Marie Prins’ studio bear shades of black and gray, with hints of color subtly visible beneath their scratched, heavily textured surfaces. Mysterious, translucent objects like many-petaled flowers or the fragile wings of insects hang suspended before them, turning freely to catch the light in matrices of yellow resin.”
–William Clark, Artist Manipulates Dimensions, Media, Myths and Symbols, Albuquerque Journal
“Prins’ current exhibit at Jonson Gallery uses a mythological strategy made clear from the show’s title In the Realm of Aphrodite. Aphrodite is the mythological goddess of love and beauty, without whose presence there would be no joy or loveliness in the world. This show provides both of these elements.
…The works are interesting, provocative and elegant expressions of world issues… These are works to spend time with. They are contemplative pieces… There is an embattled elegance … They are visceral in approach. Yet clearly they are not only meant to affect you on a visceral level… Prins… affects her viewer on both the sensual (Aphrodite) level and on a heady, spiritual plane also.”
–Perry Kohn, Challenging Patriarchy, El Ojo
“Rose Marie Prins is one of those artists that can work with a variety of materials, in painting, sculpture, book-making, and do so in diverse ways. Through all of it is has her distinctive signature.”
–Luis Gottardi, Rose Marie Prins @ Catherine Hickman Theater, Art Taco
“Rose Marie Prins is well regarded for her artfully layered and battered mixed media abstract paintings, often in dark tones. Several new works are an unexpected and rich blue… a poem by Timothy Houghton… inspired her recent art.”
–Lennie Bennette, Out of the blue, Tampa Bay Times
“Rose Marie Prins’ ‘tent’ full of giant moths circling a mammoth, lighted taper seems for a moment to be playful in mood. Reflection suggests, however, that the work is apocalyptic, a metaphor for a last dance of life.”
–David Bell, Art Exhibits Cover Ground From Familiar to Abstract, Albuquerque Journal