Margaret Garrett is an interdisciplinary American artist. Her artistic practice includes painting, printmaking, collage, dance, and video work. Born in North Carolina and raised in Pennsylvania, she grew up training to be a dancer and went on to dance with the Pennsylvania and Cleveland Ballet companies. In her early twenties, she discovered painting, finding something spiritually akin to dance in the movement of line and color and switched her focus to visual art.
Dance and movement inform Garrett’s work to this day. Her richly colored abstract paintings and works on paper seek to capture the elusive quality of movement. “When I begin working on a new piece, I see the paper or canvas as an empty stage and the line as movement: texture, form, the way that colors interact are all different manifestations of motion and energy.”
In 2017, Garrett returned to dancing as a way to inspire new works: She began filming herself dancing and using the using video clips as material to create moving video collages. For the project “The 19”, which was presented at Planthouse in NYC, she took this approach one step further in working with 19 poses that had been selected by the Martha Graham Dance Company as a way to honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Taking inspiration from these Graham poses, Garrett created a video, two groups of collages, and a suite of seven woodblock and chine collé prints.
Garrett’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States, including Planthouse, Danese/Corey, the FLAG Art Foundation, Birnam Wood, and the Parrish Art Museum. Her work has also been included in the Armory Show, Art on Paper, the Dallas Art Fair, and the Contemporary Print Fair at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Her film “Elegy” was an official selection for the London International Motion Picture Awards in 2020. She has been awarded residencies at The Church in Sag Harbor, NY and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and has collaborated on two projects with Flatbed Press in Austin, Texas. She is currently working on a large scale glass mural commission for NYU Langone to be installed in 2023. Her work is held in numerous private and corporate collections in the United States and in Europe. Museum collections include the Blanton Art Museum, Parrish Art Museum, Jordan Schnitzer Collection, the Leiber Collection, and Guild Hall Museum. She lives and maintains a studio on Shelter Island, New York with her husband, the composer and pianist Bruce Wolosoff.