My work is concerned with the conflicts we inherently experience straddling the exterior physical world and the inner spaces of our minds. I'm fascinated by interruptions in continuity - of matter, of form and of space - how incorporeality intersects with the concrete to produce obstructions from blockages, openings and shadows, that, like our thoughts and emotions, interfere with perception. It is my mission to integrate material with empty space into compositions that articulate an indivisible, non-hierarchical whole.
I begin with the circle, the most basic component in existence; it is a molecule, a neurotransmitter and an Enso, a sacred symbol in Zen Buddhism embodying perfection and infinity. I'm attracted to its mystical elements as well as the paradox of imperfection and reinterpret the circle in both positive and negative space as a shared language connecting physical to psychological. As my primary means of communication, I expand the circle's vocabulary through architecture and color, imbue it with meaning and encrypt it to obfuscate comprehension.
Much of my work is based on a Flow Chart I devised, assigning each emotion a pantone color, which guides my conversion of journal entries into color-coded fields of dots. Sculptures continue my 'creatures of the Id' series.
Artist Bio / CV
Karen Margolis is fascinated by the unseen forces that shape our every thought and action. Providing form and physical presence to these mysterious interior energies, she focuses her investigation on the mind’s operations, tracing patterns from the progressions of her internal monologues.
After receiving her BS from Colorado State University in Psychology, Margolis studied at the Art Student’s League, Parsons School of Design, the School of Visual Arts and the New York Microscopical society. It was during her studies in Microscopy that Margolis was inspired to diverge from her traditional studies in figurative art to create work exploring the universality of macro/micro patterns.
Residing in New York City, Margolis’ work is exhibited internationally. She has an upcoming exhibition at the Pierro Gallery in New Jersey, honoring Tony Smith's 100th birthday. Margolis’ work has recently been featured at Rockland Center for the Arts, The Hunterdon Art Museum in New Jersey, University of North Carolina and at the Wexler Gallery in Philadelphia. Prior exhibitions include the Weatherspoon Art Museum, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art and the Fine Arts Center of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst as well as McKenzie Fine Art, Jose Bienvenue Gallery and Slate Gallery in New York City. Solo exhibitions include Slate Gallery and Dieu Donne in New York City and The Delaware Center for Contemporary Art.
Margolis received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 1998 and in 2000 designed a critically acclaimed set design for an Off-Broadway Play. That same year she received a workspace residency at Dieu Donne Papermill. She was instrumental in creating the Dr. Seuss Exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. In 2004 she conceived and implemented a program to teach studio art to blind and visually impaired teenagers at The Lighthouse International.