We are pleased to announce “The Otherness of Objects” the third solo exhibition of Margaret Evangeline at Kim Foster Gallery. Included in the exhibition are paintings produced between the years 2017-2019 and ranging in size from 72” x 96” (For LMG, Yellow Rooms Make Her Cry) to 24″ x 24″ (Blue Perfume).
While she has lived and worked in Brooklyn and New York City for over twenty-five years, Margaret Evangeline was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As a young mother she moved around the country with the Air Force before returning to Louisiana where she became the first female MFA recipient from the University of New Orleans.
The artist associates her mark-making to motifs from her Cajun heritage and her struggles growing up female in the American South. Evangeline’s paintings have a sensually fraught graceful energy, a languid intensity with unpredictable and frenzied passages. Private visual motifs, touchstones of her worlds, have been subject to continuous alteration as elements of a long artistic practice. Those metaphors include—bullet holes, the void, cosmic expansion, black holes, water waves, tattered networks, mandala motifs found in botany, aural and erratic reverberations, mountainous uplift and ascension, elevation and forward motion.
“The Otherness of Objects” at Kim Foster Gallery focuses primarily on Evangeline’s continual and ever expanding use of the camellia motif. For years Evangeline has been consumed by the camellia form and its relationship to her shotgun paintings. In notes prepared for this show Margaret Evangeline writes: “Some of these camellia paintings have the silent intensity of a live hand grenade. For years I’ve been justifying the camellias as relating to my shot paintings by their unfurling from a central knot, like an explosive object. For one thing, when I was young and learning to shoot on my grandfather’s farm, the tin cans he and I targeted were wounded in a way that opened them up to look like plant life. This made sense to me at five years old and I took the objects home for study. The ragged forms seemed to offer a connection to a botanical object’s unfurling. I was not obsessed then but later I felt something numinous in Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers.” I was curious to feel about the same blow to my gut that the shotgun’s kick had to my body. I was fascinated that something disturbing and not pretty could be art. Slowly I began to recognize art as a way of understanding the anxiety I felt around the otherness of objects. The camellia is the organ of a certain genus, a flower, and the hardy southern specimen has a linguistic connection to the wound. It plays a part in developing an aggressive series of flowers. Stigma is the botanical term for the part of the flower that receives pollen. Immediately I think of the mystical stigmata that appeared on certain saints, Saint Francis of Assisi being the first one to bear them and Padre Pio being one of the most recent. Tradition says that their open wounds are signatures formed in response to an overflowing mystical love produced in the world holding together molecules, gravitational waves, space/time, and the stillness around and within everything. If there’s an object that describes the impermanence of time, it is this flower, the camellia, that holds for me the greatest ideational, and psychical perfume unlike any other.”