Vicky Marshall, "Lightbulb", 2014
Vicky Marshall, "Lightbulb", 2014, oil on canvas, 56" x 56"
With their expansive energy and expressive brushwork, Vicky Marshall’s paintings are raw and delicious. It’s a style that made her part of the influential Young Romantics show in 1985 at the Vancouver Art Gallery, which helped launch her and seven other artists, including Richard Attila Lukacs and Angela Grossman. While Marshall’s subject matter has shifted from the hookers and street people she painted in those days – she now favours objects such as light bulbs and tangled rope – her painterly style has remained constant.
“I’ve always walked the line between abstraction and representation,” says Marshall, who was born in England and graduated from what is now Emily Carr University in 1979. “I still continue to do that, but in the past my work was more about the object, whereas now, in the new paintings, I’ve moved away from the narrative. I’ve chosen objects purely for the way I can use them to define space.”
Marshall’s last solo show was five years ago. “I’ve never been wildly prolific,” she says. “I’ll get on a roll, but there might be big spaces between. Once I get into something, I’m gone.” And, of course, life has a way of interfering with studio time. She and her husband, David Walker, also a painter, built a home in Pender Harbour, north of Vancouver, and also have been coping with the usual mid-life issues, including aging parents.
People often find metaphors for the human condition in Marshall’s emotionally suggestive imagery. “I don’t mind that,” she says. “And maybe in some deep recesses … that’s what’s coming out in my work. But it’s not intentional.”
Vicky Marshall is represented by Winchester Galleries in Victoria and the Marion Scott Gallery in Vancouver, where her show, New Works, runs from Sept. 10 to Oct. 10. Her work is priced at $2,000 to $10,000.