About McCagg’s work, Jaquelyn Tuerk, Professor of Art History at Kean University in New Jersey, said:
“McCagg\'s ephemeral subject matter is space itself in relation to form. The viewer is left with a feeling of capturing a glimpse of something essential, but only for a moment as the line evolves from one mark to the next. McCagg\'s images articulate peace, in a lyrical, soft, and complex undulation of unexpected interactions…the space opens so as to give the sensation to the viewer of walking into an alternative world of palimpsest forms, where imagination challenges perception.”
This work is part of a series called Space interrupted.
Conceptually, “Space interrupted” refers to structures and systems that connect and separate individuals or groups of individuals.
Compositionally, McCagg is playing with the effect of introducing new elements that should not fit but which in fact complete the image. Here, she is thinking of shifts in one’s perception at the moment of contact between 2 things. For instance, standing in nature at the edge of a canyon when the cloud cover moves in and changes the whole visual experience, noticing a shift in the wind or becoming aware of someone behind you.
One of her great teachers, Pablo Picasso, uses this idea brilliantly. In his oil on canvas, Boy Leading a Horse, Paris, 1905-1906, there is one salmon-orange-colored shape in the bend of the horse’s neck that seems incongruous with the rest of the painting, but is the mark that binds the entire composition and serves as a focal point for entering and leaving the image.
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About The Artist
Xanda McCagg is an American contemporary painter who once created figurative pieces, but has abandoned that style in favor of abstraction.Read More