' Margaret Evangeline
Margaret Evangeline
The Otherness of Objects
March 28 - May 04, 2019

Press Release

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 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.”

 

video of opening


Past Exhibitions

Biography

Margaret Evangeline is a contemporary painter, sculptor, and installation artist who lives and works in New York City. Born in 1943 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Evangeline’s Cajun grandfather taught her the ways of the family farm from a young age, bringing her along to the cotton gin when the crop came in, and teaching her how to shoot, ride, and fish. While the practice of painting remained an active passion for Evangeline, her family was growing quickly and she raised her three children while moving around the US before finally settling in New Orleans. It was there that Evangeline’s nascent artistic career took root. By 1978 she had become the first female recipient of an MFA in Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans.

With her degree complete and a newfound artistic community to support her, Evangeline set out on the path that ultimately led her to New York City and to her career as a renowned contemporary artist. She began exhibiting at Galerie Simonne Stern and teaching at Delgado Community College, where she pioneered the school’s first fine arts program. It was during this time that Evangeline’s interest in using unconventional and aesthetically resistant materials emerged in her painting, a technique that has come to define her formal practice. Evangeline began creating large-scale abstract oil paintings on canvas, layering crystallina, flocking, and other cultural detritus with her oil paints. Working during the Persian Gulf War, Evangeline created a body of paintings that were intended as a response to the political turmoil internationally at hand, and the social issues particular to the environment of New Orleans. These works were the first in a long line of paintings and sculpture that Evangeline created to reflect on the cultural climate of our times.

In 1992 Evangeline had her first show in New York City, a solo exhibition curated by Elizabeth Moore Fine Arts in conjunction with Res Nova Gallery, a recent New Orleans transplant at the time. The exhibition was well received and went on to garner a particularly insightful review by Eleanor Heartney in Art in America. This experience had a profound effect on Evangeline and ultimately led her to permanently relocate to New York, where she continues to live and work today.

It was upon settling in Manhattan that Evangeline was able to begin processing the impact of the south on her work, and experimenting with the way in which location affected her practice. Today, the experience of growing up in Lousiana has come to define her work as an artist. During a residency at Art OMI in 1999 Evangeline borrowed a rifle from a local farmer and fired a single shot through a piece of metal. While for her grandfather shooting had been a means of survival, for Evangeline the process of shooting served as a direct line from her life in contemporary art to his experience, and that of his ancestral lineage of explorers, traders and gunsmiths. The long, circuitous history of Evangeline’s Acadian forebears, through the Hudson Bay down to Louisiana, forms a rich backdrop for her reflections upon and responses to current political questions, especially those centered on the gun. In 2002, during a residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute dedicated to supporting artists affected by 9/11, Evangeline began to further explore the act of shooting. Confronted by the vastness of the landscape and mired in the unanswerable questions left in the wake of the national tragedy, Evangeline began shooting holes in giant aluminum panels, engaging the landscape of the place through the absence she had created in the works, thereby finding a language to explore the collective loss the country was feeling.

Evangeline has since gone on to create a stunning collection of shot metal sculptural works and large-scale installations that provide an abstract reflection on collective memory, loss, growth, and the passage of time. In addition to solo and group exhibitions at notable institutions internationally, public installations of Evangeline’s work are in place around the world. In 2004 she received her first commission to create a site-specific work for the permanent collection of The Fields sculpture park at Art Omi near Ghent, New York. There, drawing on the tradition of shooting road signs in rural areas, Evangeline constructed a double-sided, mirror-polished stainless steel panel that she shot with a .22 caliber rifle. The work, which reflects the landscape, draws on the notion of place, reality, and space as a medium, as visitors are confronted by both ethereal distortions of their surroundings and focused glimpses of the material place itself within the bullet holes on the piece’s mirrored surface. Evangeline further elaborated on the notion of space in a 2008 commission by Illuminate Productions, for which she created a site-specific installation on the River Thames, opposite the Tate Modern in London. The work, Saved from the Waters, was a fifteen by thirty-foot floating sculpture that featured reflective steel transpierced with gunshot, memorializing the pleasure boat Marchioness, which sank on the Thames over thirty years before.

Evangeline’s work was featured in the solo exhibition Sabachthani, which opened in 2014 at Michigan State’s new Eli and Edythe Broad Museum of Art. Evangeline began creating Sabachthani in 2011 as a collaboration with her son, then a lieutenant colonel stationed at a US Air Base in Balad, Iraq. Conceived of as a way to comprehend and process the war, Sabachthani features a series of metal bars which Evangeline mailed to her son and his unit in Iraq, in the year before the withdrawal of the troops. These active-duty soldiers shot through the bars using military ballistics before sending them back to Evangeline, creating a figurative dialogue between Americans and their distant war. Today, Evangeline continues to expand upon this process, creating large and small-scale gunshot works using materials related to American labor and culture as well as exploring new modes of mark making in her diverse and ever-evolving practice.   

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019 Kim Foster Gallery, The Otherness of Objects, New York, NY

2018 Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA

Weber Fine Art, Greenwich, CT

The Gilded Owl, Hudson, NY

Joyce Goldstein Gallery, Chatham, NY

2016 Kim Foster Gallery, Gravitational Waves, New York, NY

Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, The Invisible Side of the Universe, New Orleans, LA

Weinberger Fine Art, In Beauty There Is Guilt, Kansas City, MO

2015 Stux + Haller, An Injured Armory, New York, NY

LSU Museum of Art, Shaw Center for the Arts, Mid-Career Retrospective. Margaret Evangeline: On War, Baton Rouge, LA

2014 Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Sabachthani, Lansing, MI

2013 Stux Gallery, Anatomies Of A Golden Calf, New York City

2012 Heriard-Cimino Gallery, Dreaming In Quicksilver, New Orleans, LA

Kim Foster Gallery, As-If, New York City

Stux Gallery, Timebomb, New York City

Eleanor D. Wilson Museum of Art, Bayous and Ghosts, 2-person with Hunt Slonem, Roanoke, VA

2010 Heriard-Cimino Gallery, Writing to Alexandrie, New Orleans, LA

2009 Olin Gallery of Roanoke College, Margaret Evangeline Paintings and Video, Salem, VA

2008 The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Mid-Career Retrospective: Silver Bullets and Holy Water, New Orleans, LA

2007 Stux Gallery, Ricochet: The Prodigal Daughter, New York, NY

The Rose Art Museum, Papertrail 1, Waltham, MA

 

Site-Specific Installations

2016 Art OMI 25th Anniversary Exhibition, The Fields Sculpture Park at the OMI International Arts

Center, Ghent, NY

2012 Glass Like A Memory, Steel Like A Valentine (public commission), Michigan State University,

Lansing, MI

2010 Another (America), Richard J. Massey Foundation, NYC

2008 DRIFT: Saved From the Waters, Illuminate Productions, River Thames, London, UK

Zen Marksman, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA

2007 (AMERICA), KK Projects/P.1, St. Roch, New Orleans, LA

2004 Gunshot Landscape, The Fields Sculpture Park, Art Omi International, Ghent NY

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019 VERVE, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

2018 Love Apple Art Space, curated by Jennie Lamensdorf with artists selected by Francis Greenburger

The Whole Drum Will Sound: Women in Southern Abstraction, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA

2016 Exchange x JFG, Galerie Jochen Hempel w/ Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, Berlin, Germany

Poetic Minimalism, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ

2015 Guns in the Hands of Artists, The Senate, Russell Rotunda, Washington, D.C.; Miami Project,

Miami, FL; The Aspen Institute, Aspen, CO; Des Lee Gallery, St. Louis, MO

Pulp Fictions, Dieu Donné, New York, NY

2014 Imago Mundi: Reparation, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA

Guns in the Hands of Artists, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA

Beautiful Disintegrating Obstinate Horror Drawing, University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM

…Burning Bright: Tiger tiger, Stux Gallery, New York, NY

2013 Blink, Lynch Tham, New York, NY

2012 Piping Down the Valleys Wild, Stux Gallery, New York, NY

Liminality, Luminosity, and the Everyday, CU Art Museum, Boulder, CO

Morris at Twenty, Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA

Cross Connections, Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN

Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980 Niki de Saint Phalle & the West Coast, Here Is Elsewhere Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Recent Acquisitions, Bradbury Gallery, State University, Arkansas

2011 Gun & Knife Show, CentralTrak, University of Texas, Dallas, TX

A Disease of the Oyster, The Pearl, Prospect 2 Satellite, New Orleans, LA

Modern and Contemporary Art From The Permanent Collection, The Hilliard Museum of Art, Lafayette, LA

The Garden, Curators, James Salomon and Beverly Allan, Salomon Contemporary, New York, NY

January White Sale, Curator, Beth DeWoody, Loretta Howard Gallery, New York, NY

2010 Think Pink, Curator Beth DeWoody, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FL

The Young Contemporaries, Whitney Art Party, 2010-08

Hunt and Chase, Curator Beth DeWoody, Salomon Contemporary, East Hampton

Awards/Residencies

2013 The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Competition Nominee

2011 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship Nominee

2010 Art Omi Artist Residency Board Member

2009 30th Anniversary of University of New Orleans Honored Artist Alumna with Peter Halley and Lucky DeBellevue

2008 Joan Mitchell Foundation Moderator for Artists Visit Artists Part 1 and 2, Louisiana Artworks, New Orleans, LA

2006 Mary Baldwin College, Susan Paul Firestone Award in Contemporary Art, Staunton, VA

2002 Santa Fe Art Institute, NY Artist-in-Residence, Santa Fe, NM

2001 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, New York, NY