Artist Profile: Marjorie Kaye

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Marjorie Kaye, Opening Reception October 4th, Galatea Fine Art   photo by Sand T Kalloch

Synaptic Tides

By Clare Asch

Marjorie Kaye’s new exhibition, Synaptic Tides at Galatea Fine Art, vibrates with energy. The graceful perimeters of her relief sculptures and her bright, highly saturated colors hum with energy and an exuberant rhythmic motion. Marjorie is deeply interested in music and sees a connection between sound and vision. Some of the musicians and music forms that have influenced her are Duke Ellington, Bjork, Patti Smith and Hanggai. This connection to music creates a strong rhythmic flow in her artwork.

The paintings and relief sculptures in this exhibition start with curvilinear, organic forms cut from plywood. Ms. Kaye describes this process in her artist statement. “Some of the pieces are built up sculptural ziggurats, with form making their way through depths and valleys.” The three-dimensional work uses layers of shaped plywood to create sculptural form. Even in the two-dimensional pieces, while the painting remains two-dimensional, its painted elements hint at depth.

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Marjorie Kaye, Sea Crevice, 18.5 x 20.5 x 2.5 in., Gouache on Sculpted Wood  photo by Clare Asch

In both the 2-D and 3-D work, the organic shapes fluctuate between references to nature and symbols. As Marjorie writes in her artist statement: “Ancient symbols make their way across pathways of energy, co-existing with forms of nature; earth, sky and all types of elemental forms… .”

In Sea Crevice, a relief sculpture, there is an undulating motion of a plant-like form moving from the bottom upwards. This shape initially looks like a sea plant such as kelp, but on closer examination it morphs into a flame-like or a biomorphic image. Surrounding this central motif there is a mix of delicate flowers and map-like shapes interspersed with spirals and other symbols.

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Marjorie Kaye, Where the Grasses Sway, 14 x 14 x 3.5 in., Gouache on Sculpted Plywood  photo by Clare Asch

In Where the Grasses Sway, the different levels of the layered wood further emphasize the three dimensional, as the viewer’s eye wanders through the valleys and curved peaks of the raised surface. This piece likewise has some floral and leaf shapes, along with spirals, suns and other mysterious symbols. Marjorie notes that the images in her artwork start with automatic drawing that inform the outer and inner shapes. She describes her work as unlocking a puzzle.

Sorceress Picks Up a Conch Shell is made up of three separate shaped panels. The outside perimeter and the shapes within each panel are flowing and graceful. Each panel is visually intriguing in itself, but the way the three pieces interlock and interact with each other becomes magical!

Marjorie’s artwork shows an abiding interest in natural forms. Among the artists that have influenced her are Ursula von Rydingsvard and Chakaia Booker. Both sculptors use unusual materials that make pointed references to nature. In the case of Chakaia Booker it’s nature as filtered through urban life.

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Marjorie Kaye, Sorceress Picks Up a Conch Shell, 36 x 36 in., Gouache on Sculpted plywood  photo by the artist

As Marjorie Kaye describes it in her own words: “I have taken to meditating and musing through a pastoral view in an urban setting—One in which branches and boughs are superimposed on one another, creating a depth of field that continues forever. I watch the light move slowly over the trees, birds alighting, squirrels running up and down tree trunks. I watch in the morning, the afternoon, and the evening. I have noticed the wind lightly blowing through the boughs and saw that my sculptural painting surfaces were similar undulations of this motion. Forces of energy in the natural world create an ever-changing panorama of unfolding.” This exhibition is a testament to how completely she succeeds in that intention!

Marjorie Kaye, Synaptic Tides: October 2-27, 2019. Visit Galatea Fine Art at 460 Harrison Ave, #B-6, Boston, MA 02118, 616-542-1500. Gallery hours: Wednesday–Sunday 12-5pm and by appointment.

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