in Los Angeles, CA / United States
11.01.2020 - 15.02.2020 00:00
Margie Livingston - The Earth is a Brush

“I feel an affinity to Michael Heizer’s use of drawing when he carved circles in the desert with his motorcycle.  I, too, am claiming land as artist’s materials, but I’m using the ground to inscribe the surface of the paint”. (Margie Livingston)

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce “Margie Livingston: The Earth is a Brush”, the artist’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.

For the past four years, Margie Livingston has been dismantling the line between painting and performance. In a hybrid form of Action Painting, performance, and Land Art, she drags constructed paintings across terrain, inscribing the canvases with the ground to what she calls Extreme Landscape Painting or “non-painting painting.”  Inherent in this process is the use of chance procedures and the knowledge that the ideas change and evolve as she gets into the work.

Using her body as an instrument pits her natural introversion against a desire to perform; the absurdity of dragging a painting in public triggers shame. Shame envisions judgment from others, presumes an audience, and complicates the relationships between performer, witness, and participant. As works of art, the performance artifacts evoke Color Field and Action Painting but, having been dragged in the street, also speak to darker forces in our culture.

The grouping titled “Dragging Self Doubt” resulted from an experimental, interactive performance that Livingston produced reflecting on chance, creative destruction, and collective release at the Seattle Art Museum’s annual Party in the Park. Guests were invited to write something they’d like to let go of onto a painting. Dragging the painting around the park offered an opportunity for catharsis as the face of the earth and the weight of gravity colluded to erode away the words. “Because doubt is always lurking around my studio,” says Livingston, “waiting to ambush me if I get too cocky, I immediately connected with the painting on which someone had written self-doubt.”

Margie Livingston received her MFA in painting from the University of Washington and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2001, a period she spent living and working in Berlin. Other awards include a 2011 Artist-in-Residence at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), the 2010 Neddy Fellowship from the Benkhe Foundation and the 2010 Arts Innovator Award from Artist Trust (funded by the Chihuly Foundation), a 2008 Artist-in-Residence at the Shenzhen Fine Art Institute, and the 2006 Betty Bowen Memorial Award. She has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Shenzhen Fine Art Institute, and Amerika Haus-Berlin, among others. Margie Livingston’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Shenzhen Fine Art Institute, Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Eugenio Lopez Collection, Joel and Zoe Dictrow Collection, New York, and numerous other private and public collections.

Gallery hours Tues-Sat 11 am – 6 pm, and by appointment


Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
2685 S La Cienega Boulevard
90034 Los Angeles, CA
United States


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