Marcia Gygli King


Artist's Statement

Recent Work

Older Work





Artist’s Statement


“The force with which a dominant theme can work its way to the surface of a visual artist’s oeuvre, sometimes through many levels of camouflage and metaphor is striking. But we accept -- that to let that self emerge is fundamental to the artist’s life." *

In the early sixties, sitting beside a rushing stream in Wyoming making a pastel drawing of Rainbow Trout, I began rendering the grass of the embankment. I let loose with jagged energetic marks and felt a wonderful sense of exhilaration. These artists’ marks expressed my personal energy placed in the energies of nature. I have never forgotten this moment of harmony with the scudding clouds, the breezes and the rushing stream and the need to translate nature’s energies has never left my work. One of my dominant themes had emerged with striking force. Sometimes this energy is a concrete symbol such as the jagged edges of many canvases executed in the late seventies and eighties, or sometimes it is inherent in the highly articulated brushstroke of my current painting, but it is always there, subtle or overt.

In 1979 I moved to New York City. My artists loft in SoHo looked into a manufacturing loft where I could see repetitious work carried out by the workers. I filled a plastic deli ketchup bottle with a thick mixture of white Gesso and Rhoplex and day after day, methodically squeezed uniform dots over all my furniture hoping to feel the boredom ascribed to a factory worker. It never happened because the dots carried too many inferences for me. As a Texan living close to the border, Mexican Day of the Dead figures painted with dots and dashes as a trope for death and decay were deep in my psyche. Pretending to be simple decoration, these dots talked to me.

When the furniture was covered with dots, I then proceeded to cut out paper discs or dots and affix them to a body of sculpture and after that I dotted large canvasses sometimes with paper discs and sometimes with the Gesso and Rhoplex.

In making my current oil paintings, the process I use results in many random and beautiful dots. No longer associated with death and decay, they have come to represent for me the stimuli to our nervous system as we receive the outside world: the firing off of the rods and cones in our eyes as we see, the stimuli to the cells as the breeze blows against us, the glints, lights and shadows of nature, the takes and retakes of a subject, the auditory, the circulatory, in short the working of the many systems of being alive. Had I never experienced the intense period of making dots, my art would lack one of its most expressive and personal permissions.

I relate these two artistic recognitions because they are fundamental to my work. However, some of the finest critics in America have written about my art and their words are far better than mine. I urge you to read the reproduced essays and reviews for further understanding.

   *Munro, Eleanor, “Marcia Gygli King Relief Paintings 1982-1984, Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum Catalogue, San Antonio, Texas 1984


  ©2006 Marcia Gygli King. All rights reserved.
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