Marie Ringwald

Born, raised and educated in the Bronx, New York, I earned a BFA from Hunter College, City University of New York in 1970. I then spent a year of graduate studies at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia PA. In 1971 I moved to Washington, DC where I started working and showing with a loosely organized group of women artists. In 1976 I began teaching at the Corcoran College of Art + Design. In addition to teaching, I served as Chairman of the Foundation Department from 1986 to 1989 and 1996 to 2003. I was awarded full professorship in 1992. After taking a leave of absence for the 2003-2004 academic year, I resigned in order to work full time in my studio.

When I studied art in college, I was drawn to the minimalist art of the mid 60’s and early 70’s. I fell in love with pattern, placement, subtle color shifts and proportion. My work was non-objective through my early years in Washington, DC when I was making silkscreen prints, drawings and then sculptures.

However, I was constantly looking at architecture – buildings, doors & windows, fences, even beach furniture, lattices and old-fashioned amusement park architecture. In the mid 70’s I started making art about the things I loved to look at.

I’m fascinated with utilitarian buildings – warehouses, factories, Quonset huts, and all kinds of farm buildings – buildings for working in and for holding materials, animals and goods. For me these buildings embody hopefulness, possibilities, history and sometimes even mystery. I appreciate the elegant design elements, as well as the poetic and emotional associations, of simple vernacular architecture. I like that these utilitarian buildings are made with everyday materials that get wonderfully worn by time and weather, and are sometimes patched like a quilt. My sculptures are constructed and collaged with wood (painted, oiled or stained), rubber, glass and sheet metal – the same materials that make up the buildings that inspire me. I pick and choose appropriate materials – both new and used – and paint, stain, patina and work the surfaces. Some sculptures are based on specific buildings while others come from playing with forms or combinations of materials. Pieces range from fairly representational to abstract. Most are wall mounted while others are free standing.

I sketch and photograph during travels and when close to home. Images from photographs (some given to me by friends) and films also play a part in my art. I start by remembering a place and then abstracting the essentials. I believe these types of buildings conjure universal as well as personal associations. I aim to capture these associations in my work.