The interface between Marie Hagerty’s paintings and their points of reception resists description. Hagerty’s work, more than most, is to be experienced in a zone of silence where the viewer is quite simply hypnotised by laminate constructs of exhilarating fluidity. Reminiscent of Modigliani’s voluptuousness stripped of figurative connotation, her luxurious overlay of form and virtuoso use of colour is paradoxically best described as sculptural, and calls to mind the organic abstraction of Jean Arp. Separated tonally by line and colour, floating in, around and over each other, her merging and elegantly parting shapes are like the translucent liquids of a lava lamp as they begin to warm and perform. The epitome of lyricism, Hagerty’s paintings express the artist’s vision and imagination through the sublime beauty of harmonious form.
There are two overlapping streams in Hagerty’s ouvre and the other is connected to constructivism with narrative tones and oblique architectural quotation from the curvaceous structures of modernist architects such as Harry Seidler and Oscar Niemeyer. In Hagerty’s recent (2015) plane girls series for instance, she conjugates female form and the machinery of flight in a feminist take on the mythology of ‘man and machine’: as if to ask were women independent of machinery? In these often smaller, succinct, sometimes three-dimensional works, she modernises Alexander Rodchenko’s characteristic styles to fashion revolutionary statements for the 21st century.
Image: Marie Hagerty, Ubu 2, 2015, oil on canvas, 157 x 274 cm diptych; courtesy of the artist