G Fine Art Gallery Info Selected Archives Artists

Maggie Michael | THERE is NO RISING or SETTING SUN

September 10 - October 15, 2011


press release:

Opening Reception: September 10, 6:30 - 8:30pm

Michael’s 4th solo exhibition features The Danube Series – drawings created in
Romania Summer 2011 and New Studio Paintings
Washington, DC (August 31, 2011) – G Fine Art begins its 10th anniversary
season with There is No Rising or Setting Sun, new paintings and works on
paper by Maggie Michael.  An opening reception will be held Saturday,
September 10, 6-8PM, and the exhibition will run through October 15, 2011.
Michael’s fourth solo exhibition features a group of works on paper – the Danube
Series – executed this summer in Cetate, Romania, following the artist’s recent
completion of a collaborative large scale mural for the US Embassy in Bucharest, Romania, a commission from the US ART in Embassies, U.S. Department of State. Paintings executed at the artist’s studio in Washington, DC will also be featured.   
The new work sees a further evolution in Michael’s oeuvre following the
introduction of text-based works in her exhibition All at Once (2008). In There is
No Rising or Setting Sun, text is both obscured and evident: “I incorporate the
negative and positive shapes of letters in areas of paintings for an abstract
recognition and texture, no pun intended. Sometimes, these areas are not saying
anything; however, the letter shapes/negative spaces are familiar and exist not to
be decoded, but there.” The work and spirit of Samuel Beckett are predominant,
whether in appropriated text such as:  “no symbols where none intended” and
“The tears of the world are a constant quality …The same is true of the laugh,” or
in a text-less painting referencing the curiosity of Beckett’s character Watt (from
the novel of the same name), who tries to understand an abstract image. “Like
abstract painting,” says the artist, “Beckett’s works are experienced, heard, and
understood on instinct, pressingly (depressingly) open; the viewer fills in the
Speaking of the exhibition’s title, Michael said, “The sun reference is a way of
noticing that perhaps the most inspirational phenomenon – day break or sunset –
is not as it seems. The sun does not rise or fall; it is in a relatively fixed position.
On the other hand, the sun will appear to always be rising or setting somewhere,
according to multiple points and perspectives.”  
All of the works in the Danube Series are on paper with ink and spray paint
mixed with water from this storied, 1,770 mile-long river that courses through
nine countries, from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. The use of the river water
was both poetic and necessary – Michael had no running water in her studio, so
she and a friend carried a heavy jug from the Danube.  The artist used
antiquated musical reproduction devices – vinyl records of works by Verdi, Diana
Ross and The Jesus and Mary Chain, and piano rolls of Wagner – as stencils.  
“The piano rolls,” says Michael, “simply represent sound – a decodable analog,
caught between mechanical and digital translations. Visually, for me, they
represent the rhythmic vertical flow of rain, waterfalls, or windows lit at night in a
skyscraper. Or horizontally, the piano roll stencil is a river current or an urban
flow of pedestrians. Diagonally, a stronger momentum is implied, a celestial light
or wind.”
About Maggie Michael
Maggie Michael lives and works in Washington, DC. Michael holds an MFA from
American University, an MA from San Francisco State University and a BFA from
the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She has completed an Artist Research
Fellowship with the Smithsonian Institution and an Artist Residency at the
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, both in Washington, DC. Michael
participated in Jan Verwoert’s residency Why Are Conceptual Artists Painting
Again? Because They Think it is a Good Idea at the Banff Centre for the Arts in
Alberta, Canada. Michael was awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and
Sculptors Grant, The Trawick Prize, and a Young Artist Fellowship from the DC
Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an organization supported, in part, by
the National Endowment for the Arts. Michael's work has been exhibited in
international galleries and nonprofit, private and public collections including the
Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the
University of Maryland, George Mason University, the US Art and Embassies
Program, and the Federal Reserve Board. Michael’s work has been featured in
At Length magazine and reviewed in The Washington Post, Art Papers, and Art
in America.
G Fine Art will be exhibiting at (e)merge art fair, September 22-25, 2011, at the
Capitol Skyline Hotel in Washington, DC.
Media Contact:   Annie Gawlak
     G Fine Art
     T: 202.462.1601
     E: info@gfineartdc.com


Gallery Hours are Thursday - Saturday, Noon - 5pm
(and by appointment)

4718 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20011
T. 202.462.1601
F. 202.462.1604