Margaret Grimes: The Secret Life of Trees
Jan. 31 – Feb 25, 2017
Reception Thursday Feb 2nd, from 5-8 pm
Blue Mountain Gallery announces a solo exhibition of work by Margaret Grimes from January 31 to February 25, 2017. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, February 2 from 5 – 8 PM.
The exhibition, entitled “The Secret Life of Trees,” includes seventeen works varying from large scale canvases and drawings to smaller, highly focused studies. All are done on the site and have motifs based on the woods surrounding Grimes’ studios in Connecticut and Maine. As in her previous works there is a dialogue between vigorous and sensuous paint handling and complexity of form. New to these paintings is an increasing interest in the effects of darkness.
“ [Grimes’] earliest works show an interest in Van Gogh, but really Grimes is more aligned with Soutine. Van Gogh is an outliner of forms, polemical in his positioning of right and wrong, whereas Soutine creates an allover field, not just of painterliness, but where danger and beauty meld into one another. Grimes’ work makes me think of Soutine’s Return from School After The Storm (1939), in the Phillips Collection, which was painted, literally, as Soutine was fleeing from the Nazis…Her paintings do have a powerful, surprising, and sometimes overwhelming scale, all the more impressive since she works from direct observation. But it is not just about the paintings’ size. Rather it is in their insistence and the explosiveness that comes out of recursive pattering – patterning that we know, intuitively, exists on both a universal and microscopic level.”
-Jennifer Samet ArtCritical, 2013
“Dense, dark and seemingly impenetrable, Grimes’ landscapes are a mix of realism and abstract expressionism, the kind of unvarnished look one could imagine coming at the break of day through the eyes of an inchoate creature.
-Kristen Nord ArtScope, 2013
Margaret Grimes received her M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania where she studied with Neil Welliver, Paul Georges and Rudy Burkhardt. Her work has been exhibited widely in museums and galleries nationally, has been discussed in many publications, and included in several books on American landscape paintings. She founded the M.F.A. program at Western Connecticut State University which she directed from 2000 to 2012. She is a member of the National Academy of Design, where she received the Benjamin Altman prize in 2004.
For more information please visit www.margaretgrimes.com
Recent Exhibition: Passages: Recent Work
February 25 – March 22, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 27, 5-8 pm
Blue Mountain Gallery announces a solo exhibition of work by Margaret Grimes from February 25 to March 22, 2014. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, February 27 from 5 – 8.
The exhibition, entitled “Passages,” includes ten new works varying in size from miniature premiere coupe studies to ambitious large-scale diptychs, all of which focus on the trees surrounding Grimes’ studios in Connecticut and Maine. Ranging from the stark and somber to the lush and sensuous, these trees appear as personages, which are immediately observed and yet metaphorical, with implications of time, change, mortality and rebirth.
“Margaret Grimes’s paintings are about vastness, not just the all-encompassing kind, but also vastness at the molecular or cellular level. She paints the individual leaf and the entire screen of the forest. And although Grimes depicts trees, her work also suggests technology. She paints the hard drive, the motherboard of nature. The interlocking, crisscrossing branches and root systems could as easily be wires and cables. The patterns the roots form are not exactly grids, but they nonetheless imply matrixes because they play with our desire to find patterns and regularity in the midst of chaos. In this sense they are about the sublime, the beauty that is at the edge of our grasp, in Rilke’s sense, ‘For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror.’ “ –Jennifer Samet ArtCritical, 2013
“Dense, dark and seemingly impenetrable, Grimes’ landscapes are a mix of realism and abstract expressionism, the kind of unvarnished look one could imagine coming at the break of day through the eyes of an inchoate creature.” –Kristen Nord ArtScope, 2013
Margaret Grimes received her M.F.A. degree at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied with Neil Welliver and Paul Georges. She is Distinguished Professor Emerita from Western Connecticut State University where she founded and directed the M.F.A. program from 2000 – 2012, and is a member of the National Academy of Design. Her work has been shown in museums and galleries both regionally and nationally for the past thirty years. This is her seventeenth one-person show in New York.
Recent Exhibition: Margaret Grimes: NEW WORK
October 5-30, 2010
The exhibition includes three large canvases and a series of small ones all depicting woods and thickets.
In these paintings light transforms the quotidian. Illuminated by the transient light of dawn or late afternoon, these paintings convey an urgency, a nostalgia for the present which speaks to the fragility of nature and our own mortality. “In art school,” Grimes says, “we were told to look at nature as if we were seeing it for the first time. Now we look at it as if we were seeing it for the last time; hence the need to meticulously observe. My desire is to find the abstract in the natural and by close observation of the intensity of individual moments approach the transcendent.”
“While woodlands and thickets, frequent subjects of her large canvases, enable Grimes to more or less adhere to the two dimensions of the modernist picture plane as the ostensible arena for her vigorous brushwork and succulent surfaces, they simultaneously suggest infinite depth and inner mystery as well. Such is the complexity that Grimes courts, which is thoroughly in keeping with the epic ambition of the physical scale of some of her paintings suggests.” (Ed McCormack, Gallery and Studio)
The paintings of Margaret Grimes have been exhibited in many museums and galleries including the National Academy of Design, the Philbrook Museum, the Queens Museum, the Ringling Museum, the Wilmington Center for Contemporary Art, the National Academy of Sciences, the Newport Museum, the Rahr-West Museum, and the Provincetown Art Association, Denise Bibro Gallery, Fischbach Gallery, Katherina Rich Perlow Gallery and Green Mountain Gallery. This is her fourteenth one-person show at Blue Mountain. Her work has been reviewed in many national and regional publications including Art in America, Gallery and Studio, Cover, The Boston Globe, and Art New England. She is the recipient of the Benjamin Altman Prize from the National Academy of Design and a lifetime appointment as a Distinguished Professor at Western Connecticut State University where she has been the coordinator of the MFA program since 2000.