Michelle Marcuse


Contact Information

marcusemichelle@gmail.com

Phone: 215-901-7190

http://www.michellemarcuse.com/

1816 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.

Wall and 3D installations

Sculpture & 3D

Constructions

I grew up in South Africa during the Apartheid era. My childhood was full of creative play with elaborate tales and make believe worlds. Although seemingly idyllic, the ever presence of apartheid loomed with its angst and sorrow.

My work involves imaginary worlds of Fairytales, Utopias and Dystopias. They fluctuate between playfulness and grim darkness and are drawn from my unconscious. As floating microcosms without a gravitational pull, these partially architectural structures are no longer anchored.

In revisiting my dream world, I am navigating through the perception of the utopian reality experienced in my youth and the emotional awareness of its dystopia.

Drawings

Silver Drawings

These drawings relate to the mystical-magical world that my eyes cannot comprehend although my body can sense. The background for this work comes from a period in my life when I was around the age of 10. I dreamed the aftermath of a mythical and transcendental occurrence. It left my world in unidentified matter exposed to light and dark shafts where the unimaginable existed within shifting currents. I had become a traveler transitioning into a magical environment which involved compelling movement. Curious observation replaced fear. My unbound floating self now democratically shared the same characteristics of other particles around me. It was only within the past few years that I recognized this dream state within my images: a concentration of forces existing in an unfathomably peaceful yet activated silence. I have used mono-chromaticity to suggest a timeless atmosphere with elements that appear veiled, secret and uncategorized. Made on darkened silver leaf, the nature of this world embodies extracts from a distant level of otherworldly reality.

Graphite Drawings

Mixed Media

Transfer Prints To Wax

Monochromatic Work

Laser printing directly onto a releasable surface, my images are transferred/printed to the skin of the wax where they are seamed together in their entirety.

I use mono-chromaticity to suggest a subdued, sometimes anxious atmosphere that appears veiled, mysterious and uncategorized. At first glance there may seem to be an identifiable space with specific elements in a state of isolated flux. In effect, they are extracts from a distanced level of reality that runs counter to our own.

These works are about a concentration of quiet energy, existing in silence, slow in time with energy that moves from the outside in.

Artist's Biography

The work of Michelle Marcuse mirrors and symbolically chronicles her childhood experiences, dream states, both past and present, and encapsulates commentary on contemporary living. Growing up in apartheid South Africa during the late 1950s - 1970’s, she experienced firsthand a dystopian society where Black South African majority lived in the servitude of a White minority. Her fragmented architectural forms and decayed environments express the remembrances of and issues surrounding society under duress.

Twice featured in the New American Paintings publication, she received awards from the Woodmere Art Museum Endowment Fund, The Gormley Gallery Notre Dame of Maryland University print exhibition and Honorable Mention from The Leeway Foundation Awards for Women in the Arts [1998]. Select group exhibitions include: Things Fall Apart at The Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia, PA; BLAM Projects Brooklyn, NY [2016]; Arte y Amor, Taller Boricua, NYC [2016]; and Borderless Caribbean, Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, Miami, FL [2015]. In 2012 The Vermont Studio Center granted her a one month Full Fellowship. Most recently she was a recipient of a Wind Challenge exhibition at the Fleisher Art Memorial [2016]. Her work can be found in The USA Embassy of Bangkok, Thailand; the Collection at the University of Notre Dame of Maryland, The Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, The State Museum of PA in Harrisburg and in the Philadelphia Museum of Art fiber collection. She resides in Philadelphia since 1984.

Artist's Statement

Time, space, memory and deconstruction as an approach are essential to my creative journey. Deeply rooted in perception and imagination, my work calls on an array of unexpected possibilities, making me aware that seeing is an unstable process dependent on my brain, memory and illusion. Coming from a 2-dimensional background and now working 3-dimensionally as of the past 2 1/2 years, my interest partly lies in breaking down my preconceived structural ideas to find and present contradictions to the way I experienced early life and how I was taught to see.

I grew up in South Africa and bring to my work loosely rendered remembrances from unsupervised play as a child within the magical overgrowth of the African landscape. Partly an idyllic childhood, it was also coupled with the ever present sorrow and angst filled emotions that I intuited from the apartheid era looming in the background. Navigating through the perception of my utopian reality in my youth and the emotional awareness of its dystopia, I build a history of indignity within fragile worlds using the corrosive texture of time, the intimacy of decay and the illusion of perception.

Selected Exhibitions

Solo
2016 – 2017
Wind Challenge, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

2013
Carrying the Dreamer, LGTripp Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2012
LGTripp Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2009
As Seen On Site, Inliquid at the Bride, The Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

2007
Present Tense, Gallery Siano, Philadelphia, PA

2005
Hive and Hue, The Gallery at R&F, Kingston, NY

2004
Hive and Hue, University City Arts League, Philadelphia, PA

Group
2017
Things Fall Apart, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

2016
Art and Love [Arte y El Amor], Taller Boricua, New York, NY
Invitational

BLAM Projects, Brooklyn, NY

2015
Borderless Caribbean, Haitian Cultural Arts, Alliance, Miami, FL
Invitational

Woodmere Annual 74th Juried Exhibition, The Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

2014
Flight Plan: Drawings on Paper and Leaf: Henry Bermudez, Michelle Marcuse, Denise Bibro Fine Art, New York, NY

Apollonian|Dionysian: The Constraints of Freedom, The Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA

Current|Approaching: InLiquid Turns 15, bahdeebahdu, Philadelphia, PA

Cosmobilities, Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro, NJ

2012
Sum of Parts: Art Exhibit of work by Henry Bermudez and Michelle Marcuse, Leonard Perlstein Gallery, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Works on Paper show, LGTripp Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Good Vibrations, Gallery Ehva, Provincetown, MA

2010
21st national Drawing and Print Exhibition, Gormley Gallery, College of Notre Dame, Balto, MD

Premiere Exhibition: Fourteen gallery artists from the Philadelphia region, LGTripp Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2009
Annual Works on Paper Show, Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, NJ

The Urban Show, Inliquid 10th Anniversary, Philadelphia, PA

the (dark) show, StrataSphere Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2008
New American Paintings, The Open Studios Press, Juried Exhibition in Print, Mid-Atlantic Edition

Absolutely Abstract, The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

68th Annual Juried Exhibition, Woodmere Endowment Fund Memorial Prize, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Juror Stephen Talasnik

Betsy Meyer Memorial Exhibition, The Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Juror Sueyun Locks

Into Intuituition: Towards a Redefinition, The University Gallery at Salisbury, Salisbury, MD

2007
Pink at Perkins: The Contradictory Character of a Complex Color, Perkins Center for the Arts, Collingswood, NJ

Surface and Beyond: Artists working with the Textural Possibilities of Wax, Ruth Morpeth Gallery, Hopewell, NJ

Painters in Progress: The Process of Painting, Strata Sphere, Philadelphia, PA

2006
Third Annual Invitational Exhibition, Pfenninger Gallery, Lancaster, PA
Invitational

Oil + Wax, Chapter & Verse, Community Art Center, Beverly Roman Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

Remix: Wax and the Intuitive Process, Williamsport College of Technology, Williamsport, PA

The Natural World Unveiled, The Art Gallery at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, Wynnewood, PA

Wired Gallery, Bethlehem, PA

2005
Art in City Hall 1984 – 2005, Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

Immense & Intimate, The Phoenixville Art Center, Phoenixville, PA

Art of the State, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA

Oil + Wax, Chapter & Verse, Community Art Center, Wallingford, PA

Oil + Wax, Chapter & Verse, Siano Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2004
9 artists, The Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Invitational

Inner Circles, The Sharadin Art Gallery, Kutztown, PA and The Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA
Traveling exhibition

2003
Surface, Matter & Artifice: Contemporary Works by Encaustic Artists, Dutchess Community College, Poughkeepsie, NY

The Future in Wax, Whitaker Center, Harrisburg, PA

Whole Ball of Wax
, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL

In Depth, The Main Line Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

2002
Art of the State, Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA

Bio-Tech, InLiquid at DaVinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

Non-Objective Art, Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

2001
Snyderman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Undercurrent: Manipulation of Form, The Gayle Willson Gallery, Southampton, NY

Images in Wax: Contemporary Encaustic, The Karl Drerup Art Gallery, Plymouth, NH

Abstract, The Wallingford Art Center, Media, PA

2000
Organic, InLiquid at the The Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

1998
The 2nd Taegu International Textile Design Competition, Taegu, Korea

The Leeway Foundation Awards for Women in the Arts, The Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

1997
African Presence – Visual Activism in Philadelphia, African American Museum, Philadelphia, PA

1 Screen, 2 Souls, 4 Hands, Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

Artist's Bibliography

2016
artblog radio, interview with Roberta Fallon, Artblog editor in chief

3 Artists, Many Stories - The 39th Annual Wind Challenge Art ExhibitionArtblog

2007
“Present Tense; David Foss and Michelle Marcuse at Siano Gallery,” The Inferno, Millville NJ, Fall 2007

Fabbri, Anne, “The joy of existence in Old City,” Broad Street Review, September 15, 2007

Farrell, Pamela, “Dave Foss & Michelle Marcuse at Gallery Siano,” Artblog, September 14, 2007

Romaniello, Vincent, “A Grand Finale,” Romanblog, August 24, 2007

Rice, Robin, “See ya, Siano,” The City Paper, August 21, 2007

2005
Sozanski, Edward, “Glories of Wax,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, July 29, 2005
Review

Slupe, Ellen, “Art of the State Shows Pennsylvania’s Best,” Art Matters, Philadelphia, PA, August issue, Pg. 11

“Oil and Wax, Chapter & Verse,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, May 15, 2005
Review

2004
Williams Vance, Donna, ‘Hive’ at the Arts League, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia, PA, August 13, 2004

Fallon, Roberta, “Mood Processor,” Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia, PA

University City Review, August 2004

Sablove, Ricki, “360 Degrees of Unity,” Alternative Central, Harrisburg, PA

Gehman, Geoff, ‘Inner Circles’ exhibit stretches and burns, The Morning Call, Allentown, PA, February 12, 2004

Lewis, Zachary, “Art to bring you full circle,” The Patriot News, Harrisburg, PA, July 18, 2004

Baver, Kristin, “Modern art comes full circle,” The Keystone, Kutztown, PA

2002
Slupe, Ellen, “Art of the State in Harrisburg,” Art Matters, Philadelphia, PA, August, pg 15

Higgins, Edward, “Lifestyles, Freedom of expression,” Artphile, Philadelphia, PA

“Abstract Art in City Hall: Exhibit,” Home News (Art Museum Area), Philadelphia, PA, April 11, 2002

Fallon, Roberta, “ART,” Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia, PA, April 10, 2002

Publications

2016
Studio Visit Magazine 2017/2017 Winter Edition

2011
Rooney, E. Ashley, forward by Charles Yoder 100 Artists of the Mid-Atlantic, Schiffer Publication

2010
New American Paintings, Juried Exhibition in Print – 15 Year edition, The Open Studios Press

2008
New American Paintings, Mid-Atlantic, The Open Studios Press, Juried Exhibition in Print
Juror Jenelle Porterfrom: Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania

Professional Experience

Deconstructing Structures, Fleisher Art Memorial

Instructor, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Instructor, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Instructor, Main Line Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

Instructor, Moore College of Art, Career symposium, Philadelphia, PA

Instructor, Howard Pyle Studios, Wilmington, DE

Instructor, Chester Springs Studios, Chester Springs, PA

Instructor, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS

Visiting Artist, Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, La Jolla, CA

Instructor, Plymouth State College, Plymouth, NH

Instructor, Irvine Valley College, Irvine, CA

Instructor, Illinois State University Visiting Artist Program, Normal, IL

Awards and Honors

2012
Full Scholarship to Vermont Studio Center Residency

2010
Jurors Award, 21st National Drawing and Print Exhibition, Gormley Gallery, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Baltimore, MD

2009
Jurors Award, Works On Paper, Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, NJ

2008
First Prize, Absolutely Abstract, The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

Woodmere Endowment Fund Memorial Prize, 68th Annual Juried Show, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

2005
The Greater Harrisburg Arts Council First Prize in painting, Harrisburg, PA

1999
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant, Harrisburg, PA

1997
The Leeway Foundation, Honorable Mention in Fiber Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Residencies & Visiting Artists

2012
Artist Residency, Vermont Studio Center Fellowship Award, Johnson, VT

2008
The Perkins Center for The Arts, Collingswood, NJ

Visiting Artist, Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, La Jolla, CA

2007
Penn College of Technology, Williamsport, PA

Visiting Artist, Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, La Jolla, CA

2005
Visiting Artist, Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, La Jolla, CA

2004
Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA

2000
Illinois State University, Normal, IL

Collections

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, Philadelphia, PA
Coventry First, Fort Washington, Philadelphia, PA
The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA
R&F Handmade Paints Inc., Kingston, NY
The Bangkok Collection, Cultural Fiber, United States Embassy, Bangkok, Thailand

Past Committees

Art Advisory committee for Taller Puertorriqueno, Philadelphia, PA
Art advisory committee for the Art in City Hall program, Philadelphia, PA

Community

2010 - present
HOUSE Gallery Co-director with Henry Bermudez, Fishtown, PA

Education

1986
Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
BFA

1983
Michaelis School of Art, Cape Town, South Africa

1981
The Shenkar College of Fashion and Textile Technology, Tel Aviv, Israel