For over thirty years Maggie Siner has been a quiet voice in the contemporary art world. Her paintings are held in special esteem for their enduring qualities: a perfect sense of fleeting time, exquisite clarity of light, bold brushwork, fine tuning of color, delicately balanced structure, and the captured moment of absolute recognition. Her subject matter ranges from the intimate to the monumental, from the everyday to whimsical combinations of objects, all offering surprise, intelligence and a sensual mastery of traditional media.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Siner began her studies at the Art Students League of New York in 1968, graduated from Boston University (BFA) in 1973 and American University (MFA) in 1976. She has lived for extended periods in France, China and Italy. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums for three decades and is in hundreds of collections around the world.
Siner’s work is classically derived yet contemporary; an almost abstract expressionist handling belies the strong underlying structure. She is sensitive to the slightest nuance of color and edge and through this, light, atmosphere and form are evoked in their finest changes. A miracle of resolution occurs as one steps back from her small abstract painting and it suddenly resolves into a stunning moment of real life. This is the moment of perception revealed.
Working exclusively from life, she is one of a diminishing number of artists using direct visual perception to translate human experience into material form. Her years in China fostered the calligraphic quality of her brushwork, so active and yet so accurate, as it re-enacts the choreography of coming into being. While she eschews narrative as story-telling, she instead finds it in the gradual unfolding of meaning which follows from immediate perception.
As her eyes roam the visual world subject matter is almost incidental as it could be anything from the commonplace to the bizarre, whatever appears in her visual field to tempt. Usually the motive to paint is a rare configuration of shapes and relationships that collide to provoke new meaning. Her figures are touching, powerful and alive, still-lives are anything but still and any small corner of nature becomes important from her attending to it.
Siner is also a devoted teacher who has influenced a generation of painters. She has been on the faculty of l’Institute d’Universités Américaines and Lacoste School of Art in France (Cleveland Institute of Art), a visiting professor at Xiamen University in China, Artist-in-Residence at Savannah College of Art and Design, Dean of Faculty at the Washington Studio School and teaches master classes in the US and abroad. She is a frequent guest artist and public speaker appreciated for her revealing lectures on art history the internal workings of painting and currently working on a book and video, “The Painter’s Secret Geometry”.
In 1976 she moved to France, taught painting and art history at European university programs and exhibited in Aix-en-Provence, Paris and Marseilles. She also studied medicine at the Faculté de Médicine and frequently performed as a singer and musician. In the 1980’s she taught anatomy at Georgetown Medical School and completed facial reconstructions for law enforcement. She is well known for her expertise in artistic anatomy and human movement, evident in her figurative sculpture. In 1991 she visited and lectured in China’s six major art academies, and then taught several years at Xiamen University. Her visits to Italy have been numerous, both for the study of Italian painting and for her own work. Since 2008 she has been in Venice, enamored of that city’s ever-changing surfaces. She is represented by many galleries.
- mostra Aprile 2013