Ara Osterweil is a painter who works in the traditions of staining and gestural abstraction. Much of her inspiration comes from natural phenomena, such as landscape and weather. Though many of her images come from her travels between her two homes of Montreal and New York, many more come from her impressions of destinations still unvisited. Filtered through the caprice of the imagination, storms, deluges, mountains, and lakes appear and disappear in the shifting terrain of apparitional landscapes.
In addition to being a painter, Ara Osterweil is also a writer and scholar whose interests extend to postwar art and cinema. Her writings on experimental film, contemporary world cinema, and classical Hollywood have been published in journals such as Camera Obscura, Framework, Film Quarterly, and Millennium Film Journal, as well as in the anthologies Porn Studies, Women’s Experimental Cinema, Body Worlds, and Taking Place. Her book Flesh Cinema: The Corporeal Turn in American Avant-Garde Film was recently published by Manchester University Press (2014). A recent recipient of an ArtsWriters grant from the Warhol Foundation/ Creative Capital and an Insight Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, she also teaches film and cultural studies at McGill University.