Seattle artist Margie Livingston makes sculptural objects out of paint, pouring gallons of acrylic to form skins that she hangs on nails, drapes over pegs, leans against the wall, piles like discarded laundry, and cuts into planks. Her paint is both object and subject—it may be a minimal abstract shape that stretched over an armature becomes a table, or it may seem like flesh but resemble a net or wooden paneled wall. The dichotomy between object and subject creates seductive, visceral, and mysterious works of art.
Livingston states: “Like the organic, sensual physicality of works by artists Lynda Benglis and Eva Hesse, my relationship with the draped paintings is physical, body to body. They exist in real space, rather than the illusional space of painting. As I must stroke the paint to shape it, it becomes so much like skin that the gesture is akin to a caress. I also play with the weight of painting, letting gravity reveal the material’s flexibility so the works allow painting’s historical significance to reflect back on itself.”
APEX is an ongoing series of exhibitions of Northwest-based artists, curated by Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art.