For Immediate Release
Contact: Karl Slocum
267 455 0279
Exhibition Dates: February 4h – February 27th, 2011
First Friday Opening: February 4th from 6:00 – 9:30 pm
Artist Reception: Sat. February 5th, 2011 (1pm – 4pm)
(Philadelphia) – The Knapp Gallery continues its tradition of First Friday openings and welcomes Margaret Zox Brown in her solo exhibition, Paint by Color. Her work hanging in nearly 75 private collections, and many institutions, Margaret, MZB , or Maggie, depending on your relationship, has command of her craft. Paint by Color a reference to “paint by number”, says exactly what she means; color is everything.
MZB’s focal point and journey is the exploration of color. All else is tangential. Not diminishing the power of their content, her imagery, objects of subject and matter are near incidental; though always familiar, subject/object are revealed through journey of the paint on the canvas and color. Resulting opportunities, imagery becomes ancillary vehicles by which accentuating color is dispersed, often an exercise in dispelling traditional ideals of the still life. Intellectually, color as object illuminates the spirit, soul or grace an object’s line.
Painting the reflection of her essence, gifted with the ability to translate and interpret the very nature of her character, emotions, likes and dislikes, through color she disrobes for us layer after layer, exposing an intimate glimpse into her makeup.
Color as an expression, an intimate language, her language, character by character, symbology dripping with life, connotation and immediacy, we are drawn into latent memory through visually stimulated - olfactory cognition. Maggie’s coloring conjures up definitive and familiar scents of our lives and existence; prescribing the hue of the human condition. Glimpses of divine light, lost in revelry, transported to and fro by waves of refraction, inhaled through ocular fragrance, we are immersed into the sensual, even the melancholy.
Is that all there is, pigmentation, light’s frequency and wavelength? Color, the “tool” fundamental to her ethic, beyond the mechanics of her craft, transmits resolve or lack thereof seemingly codified into arithmetic expressions, (Freedom = honesty + integrity). Near infinite in their values, albeit with minimal references, Margaret cleverly unfolds space within space; a table’s corner defined by only gesture, a suspended stool, grounded by only minutiae -pads of color. Embedded systemic codes of gradation validate our finiteness, ken and even our limitations. Simultaneously, well defined transcended spectrums affirm the vastness of creation - reigned in only by utilitarian organic line, judicious line use exacting professional restraint; alas reality confirmed.
Enough with the safe version.
Beyond expected levels of enthusiasm, I'm jazzed and simultaneously taunted by these paintings. So far outside my comfort zone is Margaret's work that I am given pause. Normally drawn to edgier work, it became impossible to pass over this superior craftsmanship, to negate their precision; their mastery. Margaret’s ease of hand reconciles elusive nuance of mechanics, meter and ideas of purpose surrounding our craft. I have never known such beauty and struggle to set free a way of being that has governed a lifetime of denial.
Gracefully lacking pretension, by a whisper of silence, I am lulled, drawn to her altar of peace; beauty abounds. Oh, that this paradigm might last. Ripped from Dream's revelry, illusions of peace an affront to my frenetic paranoid sensibilities; I am challenged by silence, more so by the appearance of silence cloaked in peace. Notions of calm, well outside my understanding, I am weary of Greeks bearing gifts. My unrest is at issue. I am helpless against such weapons of resolve.
MZB’s Paint by Color body of work, beyond piquing my curiosity, mystifies and confuses my want for closure, justice and reverse vindication. Devoid of blemish, I seek but find no error, crack or imperfection. I scoff at the brilliance; disdain prevailing. A skeptic by nature, I kick out in disbelief and resist yielding though know it is futile; beauty somehow overtaking my sense of filth and loathing.
Unsatisfied is my flesh in its hunger for satisfaction. I thrash about seeking the source of my screams and cries of anxiety. Shrieks for acknowledgement and liberation pierce me through exposing my evil desire to revel in their pain and anguish; from whence cometh this bent on destruction? Appalled, my wretchedness is ever-present; how the darkness blinds me. Elusive is my want for gratification, bi-polarity demanding its tax; Beauty's opposing realities of stench, grime and discontentedness.
How dare the light dwell just beyond my grasp?
Wanting respite from the deafening cacophony, looking to my cache of Brown laden imagery, out from under Calamity's heap, reaching, I grasp for her hand of peace, if only momentarily, knowing full well the imminence and appointed growl of life’s lingering wolves from beyond the door.