Conyeing the incomprehensible vastness of outer-space or the infernal intensity of explosions, Alisa Margolis’s large-scale abstractions are overwhelming in their visual excess. From the infinite depth of her aphotic grounds, clusters of melting flowers, gaseous patterns, and fluid gestures burst forth in capacious fields of luxurious paint. Influenced by Dutch still-life painting and the floral opulence of the Baroque period, Margolis borrows both her subject matter and technique from the old masters.
Margolis constructs her paintings through a process of layering oil paint and resin to develop seamless high-gloss surfaces that are mesmerising in their craftsmanship. Their perfection appears almost manufactured; their sterility, however, is not a deadness, but rather a numbing effect of emotive over-stimulation. Margolis seeks to create paintings which have the sensory effects of epiphany: a dynamism which instantly transports the viewer to a suspended dimension.
Drawing from cultural imagery which conveys this sense of raw power – such as movie special effects or rock concert lighting – Margolis converts the impressions of these simulated experiences into timeless monuments. Always beginning her paintings with a dark ground, and adding colour over top, Margolis’s canvases attain a virtual quality, as if she’s painted light itself. Through their arresting and sublime aesthetic, Margolis’s works traject the opulence, indulgence, and vacuity of a contemporary spirituality.

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