Recollection exhibition at McLanahan Gallery, Penn State Altoona, 2018

The way I paint is driven by my interest in abstraction as economy of expression, and by my fascination with the dual role that color can play both as content and as structure in a painting.

I make small-scale, square, colorful paintings. My imagery is rooted in observation, suggesting interior spaces, landscapes, and objects. My work lodges itself at the intersection of nature, culture, and place. With my subject matter, I call attention to the commonplace and the local.

What I choose to paint is motivated by my desire to re-present an ordinary moment or a particular place—in a painting—by manipulating color, shape, and composition in such a way that the possibility of multiple interpretations (or reads) engages the viewer and encourages closer investigation.

My ongoing project—Recollection—is composed of sets of paintings made in various places; serially they’ve become an evolving visual narrative. I’ve completed 126 paintings to date, with the intent to grow the series into an aggregate composed of many more small-scale paintings that, when installed as a whole, assumes a monumental scale and, at the same time, invites intimate interaction.

“The works in the ‘Recollection’ series are untitled (except by number and place-name), and the associations that we might make with their origin offer us the pleasure of inventing titles of our own. Leaving that effort to the viewer, Barbara Marks signals her commitment to the independence of her paintings from a fixed interpretation—in favor of a continuum of meaning.”  —Rebecca Allan, [excerpt from Painting(s) from Recollection catalogue essay]