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 impressions of her travels to the desolate landscapes of New Mexico, Nova Scotia, Scotland, and Iceland, 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 of postwar art and cinema. Her writings on contemporary art, experimental film, and world cinema have been published in magazines and journals such as Artforum, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Camera Obscura, Framework, Film Quarterly, Little Joe, 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 published by Manchester University Press in 2014. Although she originally hails from Brooklyn, Ara is currently based in Montreal, where she is an Associate Professor of World Cinema and Cultural Studies at McGill University.