Margie Livingston is first and foremost a painter. Her desire to free herself from the limitations of traditional painting pushed her to articulate and embrace an entirely new approach to making work. Employing strategies and methods associated with the construction and carpentry trade, she builds three-dimensional paint objects that are made entirely out of acrylic paint, allowing her to directly translate the phenomena of space, light, color and gravity upon these hybrid structures. Solid blocks and logs of paint and sheets of paint reconstituted into "wood" products, such as waferboard and paneling, investigate the properties of paint pushed into three-dimensions.
Inevitably layered with personal history, Livingston's work also has art-historical connections. In the case of the paint objects -- simulacra of building products that experiment with paint's materiality, render the conventions of minimalism in three-
dimensional painted form, push paint into the domain of sculpture, nod to the ready-made, and use nonmimetic color to highlight their own artificiality -- the obvious links are not just with Frank Stella's paintings but also with the work of Jackson Pollock, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, and Lynda Benglis.
Livingston'spaint objectsalso subvert, challenge, and recontextualize this history. The gesture of individual expression, the "mythic/heroic", and even the autobiographical and craft bias of much historical feminist artwork is sliced by industrial machinery or obliterated by layers of accident, collaboration, and carpentry skills that draw attention away from the hand of the artist and toward the process itself. And, yet, these objects' indebtedness to earlier artists and late-modernist art movements is only one of their collective dimensions. Another is their evocation, however oblique, of the natural world's ravaged state.