The Painting of Marianne Gagnier


The paintings of Marianne Gagnier are abstract and can be called abstractions. They are, however, abstractions of the earth. Their essence is terrestrial. Field and ground is where they take place, and they are about how we revel in this world.

Many of the paintings are in fact begun out of doors, on actual ground, in actual field. Wind waving leaf filled branches above, the ever-changing light and shade, cloud and sun and birds are the surround. The field is activated by color seized from sensations in nature, the ground is held by form, arrived at through a natural process of chance operations, that organize into an organic whole, each time wholly new and unlike any other. Each painting is the result of a particular, one-time only set of conditions. They are pulled and coaxed, in an extensive engagement with mind and materials.

The tension is that this process acknowledges, that in this world, control is an illusion, yet will, combined with intelligence, examined experience, and emotional clarity, can recognize and fix precise relationships of color and form. There is completeness in this work. It includes both the course bray of the blue jay and the crisp lyric whistling of the oriole.

There are moments in life, if we have prepared for them, infrequent and hard won, when we experience both peace and exhilaration; when we see and feel the world in its completeness and complexity, we are part of it, and the world is fine as it is. The paintings of Marianne Gagnier are insights into these moments. They honor the world as it is.

KIm Sloane january 2013

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