Now Representing: Margaret Welsh

“I seek out the ordinary and undeveloped, items that live quietly in the domestic background, ubiquitous and yet completely unnoticed.” - Margaret Welsh

Heart's Content, 2013
house paint on paper bags
48.5 x 34.5 in 123.2 x 87.6 cm
ENGAGE Projects is pleased to announce the representation of Margaret Welsh, a Chicago-based painter who will be joining our family of artists. Welsh’s contemporary take on the medium plays with color and form to produce interlocking geometric shapes, distilling an emotional narrative with her planar configurations and right angles. Welsh earned her BA in English from Northwestern University and her MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she studied under Phyllis Bramson, Julia Fish, and Tony Tasset. Her work has been exhibited at PPOW (NYC), White Columns (NYC), CASSTL (Antwerp), Charim Project Space (Vienna), and DOCUMENT (Chicago). Read her feature in Artforum here.
Margaret Welsh
Self-Portrait as a Higher Life Form, 1997

“I want to express what it feels like to be a woman, and right now, especially, that means profoundly vulnerable.”

A self-proclaimed feminist abstractionist, Welsh draws on the historical politics of her field to establish the grounds for her practice. Commonly considered a masculine and athletic mapping of the body, abstract expressionism largely excluded women artists through the means of strict gender roles. Welsh pushes back against these assertions of gender identity, instead insisting on the fragility and impermanence of her work to contrast the traditionally masculine desire for immortality by means of art. A timely statement in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s overturn by the Supreme Court, Welsh says, “I want to express what it feels like to be a woman, and right now, especially, that means profoundly vulnerable.”

Welsh sources rejected materials such as latex paint and paper bags to create her formally considered paintings that live outside the margins of tradition. Speaking a colloquial language, her work harnesses the accessibility of these everyday materials, positioning the work closer to ‘object’ than ‘painting’ despite its two-dimensional form. Welsh’s work coalesces what was once deemed trash with the clean, white walls of the gallery, marrying the disparate ideas of waste and fine art.
Lost Inside You, 2013
house paint on paper bags
​42.25 x 47.25 in 107.3 x 120 cm
house paint on paper drop cloth
​​108 x 144 in 274.3 x 365.8 cm

ENGAGE Projects + Chautauqua Visual Arts Partnership

The Shape of Things to Come
Chautauqua Visual Arts | Strohl Art Center
​Jean Alexander Frater
June 26 - July 21, 2022
In upcoming events, as part of our partnership with the Chautauqua Institute in New York, the Chautauqua Visual Arts will host The Shape of Things to Come, a solo show by artist Jean Alexander Frater exploring history, tradition, and language through paint on view from June 26 - July 21, 2022. Also on view at Strohl Art Center is a group show entitled Undercurrents, featuring work by artist Derrick Woods-Morrow and Jean Shin from June 26 - August 21, 2022.

Don’t miss your chance to see Jean Alexander Frater discuss her work on July 10th as a part of Chautauqua’s Visiting Artists Lecture series. Lead Faculty include Raheleh Filsoofi, Hasan Elahi, and Jean Shin with visiting artist Melissa Potter in Professional Development. A special thanks to the CVA Artistic Director and our beloved artist, Sharon Louden, for coordinating the program.
Strohl Art Center | Gallo Family Gallery
Group show feat. Derrick Woods-Morrow & Jean Shin
June 26 - August 21, 2022
For sales and press, please contact Jennifer Armetta.
ENGAGE Projects
864 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622