Monograffi Fine Art Galleries
~  Brigid Marlin ~
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   Too often those of us who write about art fall into obvious traps, one of them being the tendency to "pigeon hole" an artist based on but a few highly publicized works. And in many cases, we miss opportunities to explore the complex development of a creative persona, and the true meaning of their artwork.

   Brigid Marlin is mainly known as a portrait painter and for her visionary Fine Art paintings. Beyond that she is an  individual with intense curiosity, a passion for travel and with strong humanist preferences in her personal work. She has organizational skills, which she used in founding  the Inscape Group in 1961. This group later was to become the Society for Art of Imagination, a global entity which  actively promotes fantastic and visionary art through shows and art projects.

    After an extensive formal education in art, she sought out Prof. Ernst Fuchs. He had researched the technical developments of the Northern Renaissance, initiated by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, and later also adopted by a number of painters in northern Italy. From Fuchs she learned  the Mische Technique, a laborious process of layering tempera with oil glazes. This method allows a painter to have subtle color and tonal controls and the ability to render fine details. It can be easily adapted to either portraiture or to fantasy subjects.

    The key to appreciating the originality and diversity of Ms. Marlin's works is understanding a dualism in her worldview. Early in life, she learned the value of the ironic, uncanny and serendipitous experiences that occur in everyday life. Later she learned through faith that an individual's greatest achievements are often in accepting one's own humanity, and the challenges within life itself. Ms. Marlin has been able to internalize what she observes in our world and incorporate this into a personal iconography. She has been able to project her inner vision without the intrusion of arbitrary subjectivity.

    The foundation of Ms.Marlin's art is the Mische Technique. Her work encompasses a number of differing subjects, ranging from explorations of inner psyche to fantastic compositions. In  some early works, like Eater of Dreams (1978) or The Prisoner (1967), one senses a kinship with the existentialist trauma in the Magic Realist paintings of Jared French, Paul Cadmus and George Tooker from the 1940s. Other works like Fear of Madness (1966), Fear at Dusk and Nightmare (1986) explore deep Freudian venues.

     A second important subject type in Ms. Marlin's work is often referred to as Fantastic Realism, of which there are many notable examples. The artist has always had a fascination with Venice, and has included the St. Mark's Cathedral and other scenes of the city in many of her paintings. She has expanded the series to include other Italian churchs in fanciful compositions incorporating balloon shapes, animals and architectural features. Other paintings such as Ezekial (1977), Clockwork Leda (1990) and The Rod (1973) are modern allegories with  complex imagery and meanings open to some interpretation.

     Ms. Marlin has been open in explaining that the elements of these paintings arise spontaneously during the development of each piece of artwork. In that respect, her creative process is not unlike the one used by some of the Surrealist painters of the last century. Salvador Dali once explained that the idea for melting watches in his painting The Persistence of Memory (1931) came to him while taking a lunch break and eating camembert cheese.

    A third subject type in Ms. Marlin's painting has a more classical nature. Included are Rende-vous in Venice (1984), Ghost of Spring (1987), Undine (1991) and Shadow Puppets (1980). Also, the artist has produced The Mysteries of St. Dominic series and The Days of the Week series, which includes Sunday The Sun (1991) and Monday - The Moon (1991). Ms. Marlin has proven herself to be original and adaptive to many subjects, yet regardless of what she paints, each work is built on the fundamentals of the Mische Technique. We invite you to peruse Brigid Marlin's paintings at Monograffi Fine Art Galleries.

Brigid Marlin's Gallery

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