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Lose Yourself in Margaret Withers’ World: A Bright Debut Edition

from this thought a hazy question by Margaret Ann Withers
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) | 16"x20" ($240) | 24"x30" ($1200)

Week off to a slow start? We’re introducing Margaret Ann Withers with the colorful cure for all that ails you. Withers’ intricate edition is atingle with energy—plenty to power you through everything from a work slump, to news fatigue, to the Sunday blues. The ultimate eye-entertainer, this print is packed with clues, treasures and curiosities.

When Withers begins work on a new piece, she starts with a story. As she paints, the narrative evolves, the original story becoming shadow-like, vaguely visible from the lingering symbols and suggestions. Her artistic process is the pen that transforms—and forms—the tale. For the NYC-based artist, art-making is a means of discovery, the final image a source of surprise. How will watercolor transcribe her intentions? What new character will gouache lend the work? The sheer joy of this exploration emanates from today’s edition, from this thought a hazy question.

In the bottom left quadrant, you might spot three little houses, perched on the dark line of what seems to be a street, nested beneath tall, spindly telephone poles. The house is a recurring symbol in Withers’ artwork, deriving its value from its deceptively simple nature. The concept of house and home may seem fairly straightforward, but a viewer brings their own complex and utterly idiosyncratic experiences to the table. What “home” means to someone is infinitely varied, though it’s safe to say everyone has an idea of it. It’s at once universal and deeply personal. Withers’ telephone poles are similarly poised—an easily recognizable image of connectivity that carries with it a wellspring of metaphor and meaning depending on the onlooker. And that’s just a tiny part of this print!

Like the story that started this piece, familiar shapes and evocative brushstrokes color our conception but do not dictate it. The eye traverses the fine details of the visual plane, resting here and there on saturations and suggestive moments. Withers may have had a narrative in mind, but each viewer will see to their own translation.

Below, the story that sparked Withers’ painting:

Go ahead, turn the knob, and that will start this world up.
You see it, right? Just east of the yellow sails. Then the people in the houses will rush to their controls, the wires will jiggle, the satellites will listen, the engines will roar and from this thought a hazy question will form.

With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman + Team 20x200