Movement of Time and Place
Co-Curated by Jeff Whyman
May 6th – June 25th, 2022
Marilyn Honig’s painting career began long before formal education, having painted since childhood in the 1940s. Her education and professional careers were later interconnected by her interest in art. She earned a master’s degree from New York University in 1981, and a Doctorate in Education from Columbia University in 1994. She studied color theory with a student of Joseph Albers, absorbing many of his theories exploring color relationships and the dimensional possibilities of pictorial space. As a gallerist, Honig owned her own gallery, Marilyn Honig Gallery, on E. 57th street in New York City from 1969 – 1994. Later she opened a gallery in Hopewell, New Jersey from 2007 – 2011 where she displayed her own work exclusively.
Throughout her life, Honig worked in many styles of painting, experimenting until she developed her own voice. New ideas require new forms, resulting in infinite possibilities.
“Throughout the years I have desired to augment meaning through imaginative development of pictorial possibilities. This continuous endeavor represents many years of love and devotion to the countryside.”
A significant influence on Marilyn Honig’s work throughout her career is her environment. An example of this influence is seen in works from a period where she lived on a farm in New Jersey, called “Ram Hill Farm”, so named for the animals that her and her husband raised.
The distinctive red soil found in this area of the New Jersey farm, is inspiration for her paintings of striking color palettes and otherworldliness. During the time in New Jersey, many neighboring farms were experiencing a shift to agrotourism – attracting city people to participate in the agricultural farm experience. To the artist, this period felt like a disturbance in the farming way of life. The upheaval was expressed through this painting series, showing the evolution of an agricultural community as urban development encroached.
Honig sketched and painted many works of animals such as cows and sheep grazing in the field. She sold the paintings in her New York City art gallery, along with landscape paintings and images of the animals that lived on neighboring dairy farms. In the most recent works included in the exhibition, Honig focused on bringing light and color to the forefront as the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world.
“I work in tradition of the twentieth century colorists and abstract expressionists utilizing abstract strokes and bright colors to illustrate my optimistic faith in the future”.
The abstract works are also representative of the new environment of Florida landscape that has been her home for the past several years. The energy of the new location varies greatly from the farm period.
“My recent paintings also express freedom and my love of nature with the rich coloration of acrylic paint on canvas”.
Marilyn continues to paint daily in her home studio; An artist whose environmental inspiration has yet to fade.