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Luminous Silence

An exhibition featuring the works of Margot Neuhaus

April 20, 2009 – June 12, 2009

The visual art of Margot S. Neuhaus shows a consistent focus on reflection and a subtle dialogue with the materials. Also consistent is her love of nature, the spiritual thread that joins the various phases of her work. Neuhaus studied art in Brazil and psychology at the University of Chicago. Both disciplines have given her a solid base for the artistic expression of thought and aesthetic.

Neuhaus began her career in the late 1980s and early 1990s with wood and stone sculptures exhibited in Washington at the World Bank and the Art Museum of the Americas. These pieces show the central themes of her vision: a concern for nature and the minimal use of resources.

In “Serie de papel” (1998-2007), she experimented with the brevity of the brushstroke and the lightness of the medium in an introspective exercise with a minimalist and conceptual language. In 2005, she began exploring ways to find a place for minimalist landscape art in digital photography.

Neuhaus has won a number of awards and exhibited her works in the United States and Europe. Her art is now part of private collections and in museums. She is currently living in Washington, D.C., working on her exhibitions, and leading art workshops for children and their family members at the National Institutes of Health.

Her recent exhibition, “Espacio y luz,” [Space and Light], at the Art Museum of the Americas shows large, semi-abstract photographs that bear witness to the presence of light, space, and time, all moving in a delicate balance inside the image.

Because of her constant preoccupation with harmony, Neuhaus could be considered a classical artist in search of Apollonian order and reason. But in reality, she listens to the silent structures of nature, the orderly scaffolding of ecology, and the rhythm of natural cycles. Her Mexican origin leads us to think of pre-hispanic cosmogonies and pantheistic ceremonies where human beings merge with geography.

“When I began to take photos,” the artist confesses, “I was playing with my camera to try to capture the changing colors of the landscape. And later from the window of an airplane, I tried to capture the horizon, a line that was not so much a limit as the union of two parts.”

Her, images—whether aerial horizon shots, magnolias, or minimalist landscapes—are diverse representations of the same theme: nature and its infinite variations.

In the magnolia photos, reminiscent of Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers, beauty emerges from the simple patterns, without technical interventions, close up, where the artist can penetrate the intimacy of the flower and learn its secret. It is the secret of a strange harmony that astonishes us; one that we too often transgress upon, violate, or destroy.

In her journey as an artist, Neuhaus has moved from noble wood sculptures to digital camera technology, but her vision continues to be faithful to her aesthetic, her minimalist style, and her theme of nature with its ongoing mysteries, the correlation between its signs and its significance.

Neuhaus’s work is an existential reflection, in communion with the materials and techniques and present in everything from sculptured volume to photographic semi-abstraction.

“My artistic expression is like my own life,” the artist says. “It’s about leaving materials behind in search of light and simplicity.”

The work of Margot S. Neuhaus invites us to celebrate the hidden mysteries of nature and its changes, the perfect harmony of an undecipherable cosmos.


Margot Neuhaus




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