The Enigmatic Genius of Magalie Guérin’s Paintings

Magalie Guérin, “Untitled (PB)” (2023), oil on canvas, 45 x 36 inches 

In a 2019 interview with artist Sangram Majumdar, Magalie Guérin stated:

I don’t think of [my paintings] in abstract terms. I think of them as constructions of shapes that exist in the world, even though you can’t recognize them. You don’t know what they are, but you sense that they ARE. […] There’s gravity. There’s a ground. A figure-ground relationship. There’s a logical sense of construction“.

Embracing all the possibilities that all-over abstraction supposedly rendered obsolete, Guérin’s statement resonated with something that Thomas Nozkowski said to me in an interview in 2010, when I asked him if his paintings came from personal experience:

Yes, but taking that idea in the broadest possible way. Events, things, ideas — anything. Objects and places in the visual continuum, sure, but also from other arts and abstract systems“.

Both Guérin and Nozkowski are abstract artists who explore a subjective space that the latter helped open up, starting in the mid-1970s, when Conceptual art superseded painting.

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