Marianne Gagnier describes her work, which is rooted in gestural painting this way:
These paintings are a search, improvised movement, driven by color. I am interested in the edge between intention and unconscious acts. I open the process in order to open the content. The process ends when the form has autonomy and is emotionally specific. I draw inspiration from the beauty of all things impromptu, plain-spoken, patched together and worn.
My work is always about color and process. Gestural work, using saturated color which resolved into images evoking symbolic shapes, has given way recently to a more extended process. I started accumulating and picking materials up, mostly fabric, from around the studio and putting it together. Starting with noticing, rather than placing, and surprising or strange juxtapositions draw me in.
Big changes happen quickly on the canvas with collage, followed by long periods of looking and the application of paint. When the fabric and paint is subsumed into air, but still concrete, and singing a mysterious song – when all these incongruities come together – that's the moment. And behind all of this is an affinity with fabric, as well as a love of materials, especially paint, asserting their intrinsic qualities - in the service of expression. Back in the 70's I was lucky to have worked on “The Dinner Party Project,” researching and doing embroidery on the tablecloth. I also think of and pay homage to my grandmothers, both of whom were cooks on working farms at certain times in their lives, their hands, their skills.
Marianne Gagnier lives and works in Brooklyn and Copake, New York. She has had one-person exhibitions at Thomas Deans and Company, Maurice Arlos Gallery, and Prince Street Gallery. Selected group exhibitions include: Equity Gallery, Sideshow Gallery, Anthony Philip Gallery, Life on Mars, Western Carolina University, Haverford College, Ingber Gallery, Cedar Crest College, the New York Studio School, P.S. #1, “The Times Square Show” and “The Dinner Party Project”. Her work is in numerous private collections and the permanent collections of Western Carolina University, Bryn Mawr College and the Public Securities Association. She received a B.A from Yale College in 1977 and an M.F.A from Parsons School of Design in 1993.