Sept. 2017 – Sarna Marcus: Blurring the Boundary
August 30 – October 1, 2017
Artist’s tour and commentary: Sunday, October 1, 2-3:30pm
Marcus depicts the inception of our existence — gestation and birth — as interchangeable with that of the botanical world. “The orbs in my work are sometimes seen as seeds, sometimes as eggs,” she says. “But if they’re seeds or eggs why do I paint internal human images? And if they’re botanical, why do I paint blood?” She suggests a disruption of the body that can make people uneasy.
The orbs, she says, are “filled with a living energy that exerts pressure against the constraining membrane, creating a kind of rapt stasis. Jammed together like seeds in a pod, they grow and push, and eventually escape.”
In the series she calls Touchpoints, stacked masses push against one another, against the edges of the canvas and against the picture plane itself. “Where they touch, there is a reaction. Something happens,” she says. “Where they don’t quite touch, the interstice between them is charged with tension — tension I explore again and again.”
A Brooklyn native, Marcus received her training at Pratt Institute. Moving to Washington in her twenties, she became part of the Women Artists movement working to advance recognition of women in the then-male-dominated art world. She helped challenge the norm of woman-as-object, exploring the distinctive iconography women artists were developing. After a career in a communications firm she founded, she returned in 2010 to making art full-time.