Karen Margolis produces work that relies on pinpoint accuracy and arduous, disciplinary methods. The density and complexity of her work takes shape once the content is revealed, described by the artist as “the behavior of neurotransmitters as they interact with synthetic and organic chemicals.” Often cropped at the paper’s edge, her choice to enhance the fleeting feeling of each form is not unrelated to the emotional patterns she depicts.
Margolis describes her cloud-like, suspended sculptural installation M-Theory as a “three-dimensional mandala of the human condition”. Influenced by the concepts of samsara (eternal cycle of life and death) and karma (fate and destiny), Margolis’ work was fabricated from linen and abaca paper laminated over cotton-covered wire. The translucent surface of abaca creates a fluidity that accelerates the movement of these transient forms. The network of paper with burnt edges and metal threads speaks about destruction, fragility, interconnectedness, mortality, and regeneration.
I explore change as both a process and emotional necessity, connecting the influences of physical transformations upon thoughts and feelings. My work articulates what is undefined, that of beginnings and endings, disintegration and accumulations, aging and regeneration.
—Karen Margolis, 2001
Karen Margolis received a BS in Psychology from Colorado State University. She holds a Certificate in Microscopy from New York Microscopical Society and has also studied at SVA, Parsons, and the Art Student’s League.