Marguerite Kahrl is a practiced permaculture designer and that body of knowledge and experience undoubtedly affect her work. Relationships between technology and the environment are often central themes in her work. With social and ecological orientations, her work prompts questions about humanity and power, the social and environmental impact of humans, and how we fit into a larger ecological system.
During her residency, Kahrl created large, stenciled pulp-paintings. Using a set of hand-cut mylar stencils that fit together in a puzzle-like fashion, she applied pigmented pulp in succession. This process served to mask out areas of the cotton base sheet that she wanted to protect and expose the areas to be worked on. Some areas were left as solid color, while others retained subtle graduations, achieved with a misting hose which gently moved linen pulp paints around within the open stencil area. The results are imaginative pulp paintings depicting robotic vehicles and zeppelins that express both the pioneering advances in aviation and potential for disaster. The paintings use bright colors and playful drawing technique to depict impending doom through red and yellow bursts of fire. Likewise a balloon-like vehicle lofts above a bright green landscape in an airy blue shade. The parable-like worlds that Kahrl creates are inspiring but also fear inducing; human triumph and ingenuity is marvelous but there are always pitfalls and potential losses along the way.
Marguerite Kahrl was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1966. Kahrl received both a BFA in Fine Art and a BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Currently she divides her time between New York, Maine and Northern Italy.
Workspace Program artist-in-residence 2001