Port City: Molly Magai 6.13.15


June 13 – July 4, 2015
Opening reception: Saturday June 13th, 6pm to 9pm

studio e gallery is proud to present “Port City,” a series of new oil paintings that evoke what Magai describes as “the unearthly beauty of free-ways, industrial areas, and the Port of Seattle.” Magai investigates the unlikely poetics of the interaction between the non-organic urban environment and elements of nature: concrete structures and trees, asphalt and open skies.

Magai’s oils feature expressive curves and lines whose dynamic brushstrokes that often impart the effects of movement. Her colors contrast the darker attributes of heavy industry and speedy highways with the optical vibrancy of the skies above. The paintings possess solid, expressive energy, at times still and pensive, at others kinetic and raw.

Magai’s technique stems from her training as an abstract painter, to which she alludes by loose brushstrokes that point to the nature of the painterly medium. Her brushstroke tightens when she emphasizes aspects of her immediate surroundings, initially photographed from a moving car, as reference points in her paintings.

Moving between broad gesture and attention to detail, Magai thus makes her scenery accessible—to a Seattle viewer in particular— choreographing moments of recognition and appreciation for otherwise generally ignored landscapes. Magai endows them with a poetic vision, making the viewer one of the organic elements that, like the dark roadside trees and hilly, sun-streaked horizons, are indelibly locked in communication with the industrial mass.
About the Artist:

Molly Magai lives in Seattle, Washington. She studied art at the Empire State College, NY, and received her Bachelor of Arts in painting and drawing from Bennington College. Her paintings have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and cultural centers, including Denise Bibro Fine Art and ABC No Rio in New York City; Ellsworth Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Massachusetts; the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, Vermont; Collar Works Gallery in Troy, New York; and Room 104 Gallery and Gallery 110 in Seattle, Washington. She received a BA in painting and drawing from Bennington College and attended the State University of New York’s Studio Program at Empire State College in New York City.