Magalie Guérin: "The Marfa Paintings"

October 14, 2018—November 30, 2018 | Reception Saturday, October 20th 12-3PM

James Harris Gallery is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition with Chicago based artist Magalie Guérin, titled The Marfa Paintings. The suite of paintings on view were created during a residency at the Chinati Foundation in the spring of this year.    Small in scale, Guérin’s abstract paintings disrupts the pictorial structure of foreground and background through her use of surface articulation combined with colorful biomorphic and geometric forms.   

This succinct exhibition of seven works demonstrates Guérin’s power in achieving complex relationships between line, volume, and color.  In this series, each painting starts by building up multiple layers of gesso to create either one of two abstracted “fixed shapes” based on dead cacti found on the Chinati grounds that the artist called “Desert Dogs.”  The layers of gesso create ridges and lines that interrupts the flatness of the picture plane.   Once Guérin adds color to the “fixed shapes” they take on a unique compositional journey.  Mottled geometric sections of color sit adjacent to flat organic areas.  Colors and forms push against one another but comes together as a coherent whole.  In many of the works, the artist uses orange swathes of color to reference the sun’s effect on the desert landscape.  The Marfa Paintings are also linked by another recurring visual element (a tag)—a modulated gray cube as a nod to Donald Judd’s concrete works.   Guérin places this tag at the edge of some works while in others it hovers within the space of the painting.   

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"Untitled (Marfa 1)" 2018
"Untitled (Marfa 2)" 2018
"Untitled (Marfa 3)" 2018
"Untitled (Marfa 4)" 2018
"Untitled (Marfa 5)" 2018
"Untitled (Marfa 6)" 2018
"Untitled" 2018