Indepth Arts News:
"Margaret Evangeline: The Confessions of Mlle. G."
2001-05-02 until 2001-05-25
Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art
Lake Worth, FL,
The exhibition, a first for the PBICA, will consist of a single installation on paper and a large painting dramatically lit in the large main gallery of the museum.
Periodically, PBICA will choose an important emerging artist to showcase, said PBICA Director
Michael Rush. Exhibiting just one or two pieces of art will give the viewer a perspective of the artist
that they may not otherwise experience in a larger show. I also hope the effect will be quite dramatic
for viewers as they walk into our vast dark space and see a couple of works finely lit.
Evangelines paintings are inspired by the lives of women who exhibited high visibility, power, or
strong desires and were historically marginalized and negated by their culture. For Evangeline
there is a danger associated with being a visible woman -- the danger of being forced to disappear.
My paintings come out of experience, says Evangeline. Theres memory, theres a landscape,
theres the physical existence of the body. And then theres the whole question of how that takes
shape in painting. The issue of controlled sensuality comes in again. What are the restraints that
make a paintingNULL I would say that my attitude to painting is one of purposeful restraint.
The work is not narrative, with Evangeline instead using the process and materials as vehicles for
implied meaning and innuendo. Each of her recent paintings begins using a circular wire brush to
grind patterns into an aluminium sheet to achieve a near-holographic perception of depth and shimmering reflection. Translucent oil paint applied in layers to this surface further enhances the
effect of shifting planes in three dimensions. Even the choice of pigment carries political weight,
such as the Pyrelene Green-Black, a camouflage pigment developed for military use to render
military equipment invisible to infrared detection. In parallel with the fates of her subjects, the paint
is formulated to make its subject disappear. In addition, this military paint imparts an unusually hard
surface to the paintings. In a few past works, there are drilled holes, or when a firing range was
available, bullets shot through the paintings to break the surface tension.
The result is an image that appears to be constantly shifting and changing, that is vivid and fleeting,
with a surface that both concentrates and disperses energy. These attributes relate to the nature of
desire, and the association with disappearance and invisibility to connotations of loss.
I was trying to do something about the invisible, says Evangeline. I wanted to make painting a
framework for the invisible. I was looking for some material that sets the painting up, that responds
to a controlled sensuality, to a slowed process, to languor. And I wanted something luminous and
stable, with an undertone of irrationality. Canvas felt too tender at one point. Then came the aluminium, its cool light, brutally physical... It makes the paintings delicate skin seem to shift and disappear. I feel a sea of relationships in its resistant surface, rather than a dead quarry of ideas or
Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Evangeline received an MFA from the University of New Orleans
in 1978. She has been based in New York City since 1993, and has exhibited widely in New York,
across the United States, in Europe and in Asia. Concurrent with her show at the PBICA are solo
shows at Paul Rodgers 9W, her New York gallery, and Galerie Simonne Stern in New Orleans. Her
work has ALSO recently been exhibited at The Drawing Center, Howard Scott/M 13 Gallery, ACA
Gallery, Art Resources Transfer, and Thatcher Projects, all in New York; the Taipei Fine Art Museum
in Taiwan; the Hafnarborg Museum of Fine Art in Reykjavik, Iceland; Galerie du Tableau in
Marseille, France; the Museum of the City of Madrid; the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts;
and the Nave Museum in Victoria, Texas, among others. Recent awards include a 1999 ART/OMI
Foundation Artist in Residence, Omi, New York and a 1996 Fellowship in Painting from the New
York Foundation for the Arts. She has lectured at the Whitney Museum, Montclair State University
and as a visiting artist at Cooper Union and Ringling College