Figureworks is pleased to open Mass Transit, Mary Westring’s recent paintings and sculpture addressing our subway system. Westring has been exploring this subject for many years but this latest body of work reflects on how the system humble the masses.

Her subject is most timely as it coincides with our current weekend-suspended L train service and notable overcrowding of all the subway lines in general.
(No worries – the subway is expecting to be operating for her opening reception this Friday evening).

Westring says of this series, “Mass Transit, or rather, the transit of the masses. New Yorkers getting from one place to another, submissive, patient, resigned, quiet. I observe them as they sit or stand, lost in thought, reading, listening to their ipods, studying their notes, eating, staring into space, oblivious to their fellow passengers, strangers who share a brief time of enforced intimacy. The subway, where all of us in our individuality become part of an anonymous whole.”

A number of Westring’s paintings are cleverly scaled to embody an entire subway car or train platform. Long horizontals embody brightly lit cars as a highlight to the darkened reflections of countless riders. Westring has gone on to sculpt some of her painted figures from the canvas into a series of unglazed, clay figures in various subway scenarios, such as a group of passengers grasping a subway pole at rush hour while still avoiding eye contact. The two series work well together to combine moments of levity and a touch of humanity into this weary, daily commute.

Figureworks is located at 168 North 6th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211, one block from the Bedford Avenue “L” train. The gallery is open to the public Saturday and Sunday from 1-6 PM and is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary and 20th century fine art of the human form.

For more information please call 718-486-7021 or visit us online at