Muriel Guépin Gallery is pleased to present a group show of two women who deal with topics of nature, and the imperfect versus perfect. Both artists utilize the circle as part of their practice, whether it be center stage, like Karen Margolis, or sprinkled within the work, like Isabelle Menin.
For them the circle represents the push and pull in nature, the start and the end intertwine to make the circle. The unity of nature is created through that dynamic, and the circle perfectly represents unity, and polar opposites connecting to make that unity.
Karen Margolis works in sculptural cellular structures to highlight the Japanese symbol of the Enso. Margolis finds her inspiration in Japanese and Buddhist ideas of perfection and imperfection, give and take, and destruction and repair. She destroys her materials, and from the ruins builds something new, which is incredibly similar to the Japanese process of Kintsugi. Kintsugi is the repair of cracked pottery with bright golden lacquer, to highlight the history of the item through its beautiful imperfections. Through using the circle, Margolis also shows the infinite cycle of destruction and creation. Her work is harmed, but it becomes something fresh again, in an infinite push and pull. Her use of cellular imagery shows also that this push in pull is inherent in all natural beings, constantly being damaged and repaired through life.
Isabelle Menin works similarly in that she is interested in the push and pull between order and disorder. She highlights the chaos in nature alongside the beauty of it, as a mirror to the chaos of humankind. Her pieces are vibrant but also manage to have a darker, shadow-like quality, directly showing the unison between two opposites. The world she creates within her pieces is one where the chaos of the natural world, is also what is key to its intense beauty. The lack of care that flora has for the human world shows in her overgrown lush garden scenes. The fairytale-like quality in her work is idyllic, showing the peace behind nature, but also the dark shadows.