Friday, November 21, 2008

Maggie Michael

All at Once
November 22, 2008 – January 3, 2009
Opening Reception on Saturday November 22, 2008

Michael’s latest body of work marks a dramatic shift towards an abundantly worked surface and the addition of text. Michael employs text to take a leading role in her work while continuing to command paint with large gestures, controlled pours, drips and slippages. Michael uses the filter of language, from film, music, literature and conversation to develop narrative and emotional structure. There are allusions to art, wars, relationships, philosophy and the kinds of roles we enact both public and private.

The title of the show All at Once, reflects on the difference between paintings and the time-based works: film, literature and music that are her influences. A person views a painting all at once; in an instant, the duration of the experience is chosen by the viewer rather than by the maker. Although a painting is still, it does reflect time’s passage while building history. The history of Michael’s paintings begins with spray paint; she associates the air of the spray can with breath and the projection of spoken words leaving the body. The new work references abstract expressionism and the text-based works of Bruce Nauman and Ed Ruscha, artists of nearly the same era as her film influences. Michael’s paintings also maintain their own personal history that is continually being masked, surrendered and opened by the artist.

Michael is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant and an Artist Fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She was a resident artist in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden's Artist at Work program in 2006-07. During 2008, Michael was awarded an Artist Research Fellowship at the Smithsonian and received the Trawick Prize from the Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards.

1515 Fourteenth St. NW
Washington DC 20005

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