Margo Margolis resides in NYC, trained at Skidmore College and Indiana University, and recently retired as the Chairman of the Tyler School of Art's Department of Painting and Sculpture. It was during a 2 year stay in Rome, teaching for Tyler, that she became involved with the language of Italian comic books as inspiration for this paradoxically very sophisticated body of work that explores "language" - written and visual - and the dialogue between what you enter and what you omit. Working with flashe, a French vinyl based paint with a matte, velvety finish, Margolis is able to achieve a seemingly endless variety of surfaces and tromple l'oeil collage elements, as light subtly emanates from within and plays upon the lines, dots, squiggles and dashes that dance across the surface.
Margo Margolis exhibited from 1977-80 with the Brooke Alexander Gallery in NYC and has been represented by the Beth Urdang Gallery in Boston since 1989. Her works have been seen in numerous group exhibitions throughout the country, public collections include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, IBM, Fidelity, Chase Manhattan Bank, Lehman Brothers, Estee Lauder, American Can, among many others, and numerous esteemed private collections.
“My current research is involved with the development of a new visual language and concurrently with innovations in process and methodology. The recent work consists of paintings and drawings in which a language of mark making appropriated from comic books is used to construct a dense, multi-layered space. While text and image combine to tell the story, it is the drawing around the narrative, the space between text and image that I find compelling. In my work, it is the space between, on the periphery, in the margins that has become the foreground. It is the charged environment that has become the subject.
Equally significant and transformative have been innovations in process that have evolved. Discrete marks are de-contextualized, reassembled and photocopied. They are further manipulated by exaggerations in scale, repetition and excessive layering. I have introduced “printerly” processes (carbon tracing, and stencils) that combine with marks that are hand-drawn, hand-painted. These are layered over and under transparent veils of paint. The incorporation of printing methods has been critical both formally and conceptually. These processes underline the fact that this is a system based on a “ready-made” language. They create an identity distinctly different from action painting, gestural painting or any notion that the artists’ stroke is assumed to reveal his/her psyche. These are distanced marks and frozen gestures. In combination with what is handmade, they reveal an alternate translation. Importantly, these processes. in allowing direct reproduction point to the semantic mutability of the language. . However, most important is the process of building, excessive layering, and the continual dissolution and re-materialization of form. The paintings have a physicality and material presence that affirms the medium and is in contrast to their graphic impact.”