Lineaments: Interview with Artist Margie Neuhaus

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Lineaments
“Lineaments” is an exhibition that will run at The Garage Art Center in Bayside through April 25, 2021 displaying the work of Margie Neuhaus.



“Lineaments” is an exhibition that will run at The Garage Art Center in Bayside through April 25, 2021 displaying the work of Margie Neuhaus. A weaving workshop that teaches basic techniques (and is suitable for all ages) will occur on Sunday April 25th between the hours of 2pm and 4pm. The event will be free and open to the public although registration is required.

“Lineaments” will showcase drawings, weavings, and sculptural reliefs that explore concepts of space, lines, and materials. Margie is fascinated by lines and the implied movements and recorded direction that go into each mark, controlling lightness, softness, feel, color, and other variations that ultimately express a range of concepts, ideas, emotions, and feelings. Similar to her works on paper, Margie’s woven fabrics are derived from parameters and decisions governing actions and time. Color, surface, and texture work cohesively as one.

Currently based in Brooklyn, Margie uses her art to muse on both natural and manmade systems. Having earned a BFA and an MFA, Margie’s art has been exhibited at galleries and museums around New York and beyond. Margie currently teaches at New Jersey City University and LaGuardia Community College and is a Residency Advisor at Trestle Art Space.

Margie recently discussed this exhibition and her career via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially get interested in becoming an artist and why do lines fascinate you so much?

Margie Neuhaus (Neuhaus): As a kid I loved to draw and make things. I saw the black and white drawings of Al Hirshfield in my parent’s copy of the Sunday New York Times. Now I understand that the economy, energy and expressive power of his lines conveyed a great amount of information about the personalities of the celebrities in his portraits. As many kids are, I was also attracted to comics in both print and on TV. In hindsight I realize I responded to the power of lines to elicit emotions in the viewer. In drawing classes in college, working with various drawing mediums, I experimented and became aware of the potential power of expression. One particular assignment given by Douglas Pickering, a sculptor, stands out for me. We were asked to create a proposal for a drawing that would be viewed from a bridge and made on the ground below with a wheelbarrow like device that would lay down a 3-inch chalk line (These devices were used to create sport field boundaries prior to the spray paint that is used today.) This experience sparked an awareness of the potential of the physicality of line. Lines can convey psychological and emotional tone.  A drawing might represent being strong, weak, flexible, tenuous, regular, chaotic, rigid, soft, heavy, light, calm and the list can continue. Lines can convey speed or slowness. A viewer can sense when they are drawn fast or slow. If the medium is fluid or gritty, it might evoke different sensations.

As I walk around the city, my eye is drawn to both natural and constructed lines. I’m inspired by tree branches, stems and structures of plants for their organic and rhythmic structures.  I’m also fascinated by scaffolding and lines of buildings under construction, the steel structures of cranes and the girders of bridges. These organic configurations and manufactured forms exhibit unintentional counterpoints that alter one’s perception as one walks and their view changes.  

LineamentsMM: Why does the fabric medium appeal to you and was it difficult to find ways to display your woven works so uniquely?

Neuhaus: There is something about the integration of the line, color, and materiality of fibers that attracts me. The possibility of manipulation and variation unique to a particular fiber draws me to the use of that yarn. For example, in “Slip,” I used the tussah silk for its shiny, soft and thick qualities in order to convey vulnerability, strength and allurement. In “Incident Riffs”, the long scroll like form allows a kind of abstract narrative to form and the looseness of the weft plays as a kind of gesture against the more uniform pattern of the warp giving it a kind of improvisational feel. The presentation of the textiles resolves itself through the making process.

MM: Some of your woven pieces seem to extend out from walls like psychedelic vines—they’re absolutely awesome! How did you dream up such pieces and are they difficult to install?

Neuhaus: Thanks. I love and am inspired by the structures of vines and have studied them for years. I often take photos when out walking, make drawings of them and read about their properties and qualities. Within the city there is an organic gesture of the vines set against the grid of elements of the city such as fences, sidewalk, and buildings and I think this counterpoint is one of the elements that is central to my work.

MM: Do you enjoy working on fabric or paper more?

Neuhaus: I reach for paper more often than I work with weaving or fabric. It is relatively easy to sit down to draw any time and almost anywhere. It is a way to record observations, develop new ideas, respond to or explore variations on previous drawings.

MM:  You’re a college professor, so are you creatively inspired in any way by this aspect of your life?

Neuhaus: Yes, I’m influenced in several ways. At times I research about materials, processes and artists work to share with a class. This has influenced my own practice over the years. The process of showing artists’ work to students and discussing the art works, deepens my understanding of the work. I have learned new processes and incorporated new materials as a result. I talk with students about the creative process and the many facets of the struggle and inspiration that are inherent, and I share advice and strategies I have used in the past to aid in this process. I find it helpful to be reminded of this at times. I am inspired by the work they create and how they work despite life’s challenges, especially this year of teaching and learning on Zoom.

MM: How did you find out about The Garage Art Center and secure a show with them?

Neuhaus: A fellow artist and friend shared my website with Stephanie Lee, the Founding Director. She liked the work and invited me to do a show.

MM: How did you plan and develop the pieces that are to be included in this upcoming exhibition?

Neuhaus: It’s been an organic process. The show came out of what I’ve been making recently. I also included a few older pieces that also explored the concept of line and time in slightly different ways with different materials.

MM: How many pieces are in the show and do you have any personal favorites? If so, which pieces are your favorites and why?

LineamentsNeuhaus: There are 17 works on view. It is hard to choose a favorite. Sometimes more recent works are favorites because that is what I am focusing on and excited about.  Two recent artworks I’m excited to share are the weaving “Allow” and the drawing “Untitled (b2.12.2)”, 2021. They both embody aspects of looseness and order, variation within repetition, and have contrasting gestures side by side. The materials have particular qualities that are highlighted. For example, in “Allow”, the warp on the left piece of the diptych is not one continuous thread- the warp is made up of smaller pieces that are tied together and that gives it a more abrupt and random feel than the other weavings. The knots where they are tied are intentionally apparent because the ends are not trimmed. The process of making these pieces opened me up to notice what particular materials can do, and to explore many variations. The artworks embody aspects of life, as it is lived and experienced at times.

MM: What has been the highlight of your artist career so far?

Neuhaus: The journey and process of discovery that is part of the creative process and the connections with artists, viewers, curators and critics, along the way. This continues to be the best part of being an artist and compels me to notice more in life.

MM: What events, projects, or other exhibitions are coming up soon and is there anything else that you would like to discuss?

Neuhaus: The aspect of selecting work and installing a show allows one to look again at the artworks and see connections.  I find the process inspiring and have ideas for new works that expand on or take previous work in a new direction. So, I’m looking forward to starting new pieces in the studio.

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To learn more about Margie Neuhaus, visit her Instagram and her official website: www.margieneuhaus.com

For more information about the exhibition, please visit

http://garageartcenter.org/exhibition-single-margie.html

For more information about the workshop, please visit

http://garageartcenter.org/event-single-margie.html

The Garage Art Center, Inc.

26-01 Corporal Kennedy Street

Bayside, NY 11360

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Due to the pandemic, gallery viewing is by appointment only.

Please schedule an appoint using the calendar link

http://www.garageartcenter.org/current%20exhbition.html

or email [email protected]  to schedule.

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