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An artist between two worlds

Galerie Altes Rathaus
Worpswede, GER
28.4. - 2.6.2024
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An artist between two worlds
Margaret Kelley – Works from four decades

Encountering the work of Margaret Kelley is a great surprise: here one encounters an existential artistic urgency that is rarely felt in this way. This is precisely what makes the artist’s work so special, that it is an art that “(…) does not follow any fashion, has nothing to do with any style, but rather takes place as an energetic, yet very differentiated, very subtle cosmos in terms of painting and drawing.” – as Bernd Küster, the best expert on the artist’s life and work, wrote in an article in the catalogue.

The painter Margaret Kelley, who has been associated with Worpswede for over three decades, was born in Los Angeles in 1954, studied art at Long Beach University and in 1979 received a graduate scholarship for further training at the Munich Academy, where she studied until 1983. From there she returned to California, taught in Los Angeles and Long Beach and returned to Europe in 1991 for a studio residency in Worpswede. She continued her artistic training and began her career in a balancing act between the different (art) worlds.

Her work, which draws equally on American and European abstract modernism, shows bands of coloured surfaces on canvas or paper that are graphically interlinked and can be overlaid with other materials. The multi-layered nature of her works is an expression of complex life contexts that she wishes to show. Coloured fields and graphic structures, which repeatedly interrupt the sequences, become symbols of natural processes or forms of personal expression for one’s own life and state of mind.
Margaret Kelley’s artistic formal language reveals something necessary in every motif, in the choice of material used, in every graphic trace, in every layering of colour. The viewer senses that this is the way it has to be. He senses an artistic force that seeks formal correspondences for subjective experience and is not satisfied with what has already been found. In many of her works, Kelley succeeds in creating magnificent parables for the experience of the fragility and frailty of human existence.
The exhibition at Galerie Altes Rathaus is a tribute to the 70th birthday of the artist, who has lived in Worpswede for many years and works in Bremen.