Artist Margaret Withers is recognized for her works on paper which are a mix of narrative, abstract and modern surrealism. Her paintings explore conflicting ideas of joy and melancholy, as well as community and aloneness.
She’s exhibited her work in group and solo shows in the United States, and internationally in Brussels, Australia, Berlin, China, Vienna, and Russia. She lives and paints in Manhattan, New York.
“If you slow down how you see things to where you’re almost in a meditative state, then you can find inspiration in anything. You can look at things differently as if you’re seeing them for the first time. There’s inspiration in that slowed-down space.”
Joyce Brown: In 2011 you changed your life so that art would be your primary focus; what were you doing before and what change did you make?
Margaret Withers: When I lived in Denver, I worked for the defense contractor, Boeing. I was doing computer programming related to configuration management. I eventually moved to New York to work for SAIC doing the same type of work. Part of my decision to move to New York was because of my art. I wanted to try to get to another level, and I figured New York was the best place for that to happen. At the same time, I had this idea, this dream, that I would just get discovered. I used to imagine that someone would just wander into my studio and fall in love with my art, and that’s all I needed to do. Of course, that didn’t happen. I call it the Peggy Guggenheim syndrome. Continue reading Margaret Withers on making art a priority and how to find inspiration→
Arcilesi | Homberg Fine Art is pleased to present new work by Vincent Arcilesi. The show continues the artist’s in-depth, on-site study of the arts and culture of Greece and its environs with 12 paintings that explore the relationship between the past and the present. Rounding out the show are 5 drawings fittingly named for Greek deities. All of the paintings are oil on canvas; the drawings, which are 24” x 18,” are in conte crayon and pastel on paper.
The largest painting in the show, “Aphrodite, Eros, and Attendants” (91 x 78”) depicts what appears to be a group of dancers rehearsing outdoors in a verdant valley overlooked by the Acropolis and the Parthenon, (possibly the most awesome rehearsal space ever!) Another large painting (68 x 78”) that is closer to home, is ”Dancers in Central Park” with eleven nude bi-racial figures gathered near the Bethesda Fountain.
In this show are 12 small paintings. It’s difficult to pick a favorite because each is a little gem with a special quality of its own. “The Bay of Naples” is lovely; but so is “Neapolitan Love Song.” Also Santorini I and ll, and the Acropolis and Vesuvius.
Arcilesi has exhibited extensively since 1966 in many New York exhibitions, as well as in a number of important museum shows, including the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Verona, Italy, the Brooklyn Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art (Youngstown, Ohio), the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. His work is included in a number of books and other publications and he is represented in numerous collections both public and private, including the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC. He is a professor at FIT, where he teaches life drawing and painting.
Margaret Withers is a warm, friendly and clearly gifted artist who I met on social media. Her work (see more of her work) really has a fluid, organic quality that I love. We talked about Margaret’s work, life and what she thinks it’ll take to get more people inspired by contemporary art.
MICHAEL: Hi Margaret, It looks like you’ve conquered numerous genres with your work. However, I think I see a common thread. Is it a fascination with the organic or perhaps organisms? I’m sensing a “living fluidity” in your work. I don’t know. How do you see it?
MARGARET: Hi Michael, thank you for saying that, but I feel more like an explorer than a conqueror. I’m not fascinated with organic shapes or forms by themselves. I’ve tried to paint straight up abstract, but somehow the painting just feels incomplete to me. I’m not sure if this feeling of incompleteness stems from a lack of belief that the painting can stand on its own and that it’s interesting (to me) or if it’s from my own need to create a story and puzzle out of my cast of characters. Continue reading Artist Interview→
The work shown ranges from video installations in portholes to micro-mini hyper realistic paintings pinned onto the wall. The subjects dealt with promote environmetal awareness by encouraging a re-thinking of our daily patterns. Leftovers contributes to the ongoing commentary and debate surrounding the problems of garbage disposal, and/or recycling such as where and when we recycle, and just who has access to recycling
The New Town Creek Armada, consisting of Sarah Nelson Wright, Laura Chipley, and Nathan Kensinger, combines multi-media with film footage to a powerfully communicative affect by investigating and exposing illegal dumping in various bodies of water and other sites. Also, Christina Freeman addresses related issues with her installation of a participatory work which employs an open suitcase. Gallery visitors are invited to bring in and exchange anything from an item of clothing to knickknacks to food.
Scott Sjobakken and Rachel Grobstein similarly call attention to the problems of recycling and trash disposal by painting in a hyper-realistic fashion. Both artists depict more than realistic renditions of literal trash such as cigarette butts and garbage bags, both playing with puns. Rachel Grobstein creates smaller-than-small, three-dimensional, pieces hand-painted on paper that seem to float on the wall. The piece de resistance here, and perhaps of the entire show, is a Liliputian roll of toilet paper 1/8” in diameter.