Berggruen Gallery is proud to announce Margaux Ogden: Out of Time, an exhibition of 16 new paintings. This show marks her first solo exhibition with the gallery. The gallery will host a reception for the artist on Thursday, July 27, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
Out of Time showcases a series of paintings conceived during the artist’s time as an Abbey Fellow at the British School at Rome in the fall of 2021. Drawing inspiration from the architectural fragments, continuously eroding structures, shadows, colors, and floor mosaics at the Baths of Caracalla, Ogden’s new series, aptly titled Bathers, combines energizing color fields, tessellating shapes, and fluid movements to explore abstraction’s continuum between antiquity and the present day.
Repetition, variation, and mirroring serve as central themes throughout the Bathers series. Ogden’s fascination with these concepts extends beyond the physical ruins of Rome, exploring how marks, forms, and their meanings change over time. Ogden skillfully negotiates the space between “intentional and incidental mark-making,” where every brushstroke possesses purpose yet remains susceptible to the unpredictable nature of paint and human gesture. Ogden continually responds to shifts and changes through her intuitive process, creating paintings with a visually compelling interplay between intention and chance.
For Ogden, the creative process revolves around observation, contemplation, and response. She thrives when operating within self-imposed systems and parameters, leveraging them as a catalyst for discovery. At the heart of each painting lies a foundational element inspired by an observed form or small detail. This component becomes the basic building block that the artist uses to create a framework or a way of organizing space, allowing her to explore a structured yet liberated realm of possibilities.
Even within this structure, every time I start a new painting, I feel like I'm exploring a new and unknown space. Once that feeling goes away, I know it is time to move on.
While her systems can evolve, distort, and expand, they always serve as the initial starting point in her creative process.
The works featured in Out of Time differ greatly in size, varying from expansive canvases that envelop one’s body to intimately crafted small-scale paintings that invite contemplation through their scale shift. Ogden utilizes watered-down acrylics to create her Bathers paintings, a technique that necessitates painting on a flat surface due to the fluidity of the medium. This process oscillates between moments of execution and observation as she applies a mark, allows it to dry, elevates the canvas to assess, and returns it to a flat position for further refinement. The final composition is directly related to her body, dictated by the length and reach of her arm and the movements of her hand. The tooth and luminosity of the primed canvas, combined with the deliberate choice of not layering pigments, emphasize the tension of the artist’s creative practice. Each painting is an embodied performance, where Ogden embraces the opportunity to materialize her vision on the canvas, resulting in diverse interpretations of similar imagery.
Margaux Ogden was born in 1983 in Boston, Massachusetts. She received a BA from Bard College in 2005, a Post-Baccalaureate in Fine Arts from Brandeis University in 2010 and an MFA in Painting from Boston University in 2012. She also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011 and participated in a residency program at the British School at Rome in the Fall of 2021. Ogden lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.