Garden of Mutei is an exhibition of new compositions by Karen Margolis, featuring works from the Brooklyn artist’s "Integration" series, her largest compositions to date, crafted from burnt, threaded and painted paper.
The exhibition title refers to a starting point of emptiness from which form can emerge. Margolis cultivates her compositions from this undefined space, weaving ephemeral thoughts and ideas into tapestries of brilliant colours. The circle recurs throughout her works as the artist’s primary means of communication, the embodiment of infinity and perfection and in her reinterpretation of positive and negative space.
"I look for the connective tissue between the universe and the microscopic. I have found it in the circle. It relates everything. As the most basic component in the universe, the circle can be found in all of nature as well as in religious symbols representing infinity, perfection, and totality,"Margolis explains.
To create her incredible tapestries, Margolis burns holes into Abaca paper in an act of elimination that she balances by painting as well as sewing map fragments into the paper. The artist’s latest works are scaled to over double the size of her first “Integration” compositions, incorporating a wider set of colours and dense concentrations of thread. The threadwork gives the appearance of coming together while also seemingly falling apart, two directly opposed notions which reference destruction and creation, an intrinsic characteristic of her work.
Simultaneously, the works can be read as intense psychological portraits: a translation of meaning into visual patterns. In each of the works, Margolis references a colour chart that she created, in which each color variation is representative of a designated emotion. Utilising this code, Margolis records personal feelings and interior monologues into her artistic compositions as a chronicle of the organized chaos of operations inside the mind. In this way, Margolis imbues the composition with meaning, as well as encrypting it to obfuscate comprehension.
Garden of Mutei by Karen Margolis will be on show at the Garis & Hahn gallery in Los Angeles until 12 May 2018. Find out more at karenmargolisart.com.