G Fine Art Presents Colored Grounds and Perfect Xs

By Editorial Team on February 11, 2015

Sat, 14 February 2015 - Sat, 04 April 2015

Maggie Michael, Black Under Blue Before, During and After the Rotation of Horses, 2013, gesso, ink, enamel, and spray paint on canvas, 50 x 70" 127 x 178 cm. Courtesy of G Fine Art.
Maggie Michael, Black Under Blue Before, During and After the Rotation of Horses, 2013, gesso, ink, enamel, and spray paint on canvas, 50 x 70″ 127 x 178 cm. Courtesy of G Fine Art.


Opening Reception: Saturday, February 14 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm


The exhibition runs February 14 – April 4, 2015.

G Fine Art begins its 2015 season with the rousing exhibition Colored Grounds and Perfect Xs featuring new work by Maggie Michael. Of the artist’s work, scholar Jessica Horton wrote,

“White’s presumed neutrality had emerged as a glaring problem linking studio, classroom, and street. (Michael) began to cover her canvases in blue, green, gray, and orange…It is an act that reintegrates the ground in a network of human and material relations, connecting artist and paint with all that is above, below, inside, and outside the canvas.”

With Colored Grounds and Perfect Xs Michael creates a visual vocabulary­­ from paint pours, stencils, and drawn elements. The tensions between distinctive components make these paintings pulse with ample associations. Starting with the colored ground, the works may challenge received knowledge that informs critical consciousness. Building up from there, Michael centers her practice on decoding “American” elements of painting, particularly those from privileged systems.

The Perfect X series links to Colored Grounds; marking where one line/incident/work encounters another. Michael engages the X as a structure and a multi-faceted symbol, open to interpretation and connected to both everyday and arcane signification. As the artist describes it, “The first line is, perhaps, incidental. The second line is, no doubt, an assertion. An X is to be found and dealt with.”

A number of inspirations inform Michael’s creative process: elements from Kazimir Malevich’s Russian constructivist paintings meet up with ideas from Giorgio Agamben’s contemporary philosophy, and Brazilian author’s Clarice Lispector’s unconventional, fluid writing.  These disparate elements commix through Michael’s endless curiosity in the possibilities for abstraction. Ultimately, Michael’s painted queries reveal a persistent interest in the planes where mind and matter intersect.  Michael reflects, “What plane conveys a view that is simultaneously straightforward and esoteric, humorous and alarming, secretive yet descriptively detailed?”

Michael received her MFA from American University in 2002, an MA from San Francisco State University in 2000, and a BFA from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 1996. Her paintings are included in several public collections including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the United States Embassies in Romania and Barbados, the Federal Reserve Board, the Corcoran Collection, American University, and the University of Maryland. She was awarded an Artist Fellowship Grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in 2013, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in 2008, The Trawick Prize in 2008, and an Artist’s Residency at the Hirshhorn Museum in 2006.  Past exhibitions, including Clones (2002), Run (2004), Open End (2006), All At Once (2009), There is No Rising or Setting Sun (2011), and Some Threads are Loosely Tied (2014), have received critical acclaim. Michael lives and works in Washington D.C.

Gallery Hours:

  • Thursday- Friday: 12pm-6pm,
  • Saturday: 12pm-5pm

G Fine Art is located at 4718 14th Street NW. For more information visit www.gfineartdc.com.