Neighbors: Marci MacGuffie @ 55 Washington

For artists who spend long hours working alone in the studio, the conversations that take place in the hallway with other artists are crucial. For the past 18 months, I’ve been fortunate to share my hallway with Marci MacGuffie, an artist known for her large-scale installations and participatory projects. Last week, MacGuffie invited me into her studio, which is full of mysterious and intriguing objects that reflect her interest in nature. After several years spent making installation and sculpture, she has returned to painting, undertaking a series of delicate studies and large-scale wall pieces informed by her apprehension of the natural phenomena she sees each day on her walk to the studio.

install1
Marci MacGuffie, wall collage. A billboard outside MacGuffie’s studio casts a shadow on the Manhattan Bridge. The dark changing shape is part of the piece.

Side-by-side, our studios are over a loading dock that faces the Manhattan Bridge. I like the light in the morning, when the sun obliquely shines against a long array of dusty windows. MacGuffie, who has appreciated the view for several years, pointed out how the bridge’s shadow functions as a kind of sundial on the building across the street. I was impressed and fascinated by this observation. It demonstrated MacGuffie’s Monet-like alertness not only to how things look at a given moment, but also to how they change over different spans of time—an hour, a day, a month, a year.

install1_detail
Marci MacGuffie, detail of the piece pictured above.
Shelves
MacGuffie’s studio has custom-made floor-to-ceiling plywood shelves on which she displays and stores the objects and artifacts she has collected.
scroll
Observations are recorded on long paper scrolls.

The inevitability of change is one of the ideas that drives MacGuffie’s work. Things change, time passes, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. She tries to capture that reality in her multi-disciplinary practice. The beautiful, labor-intensive ink, pencil, and watercolor studies and collages that I saw during my visit, like the handmade clocks she crafted in past years, are a product of the passage of time but also a meditation on it.

Desk with clocks
Clock making area.
IMG_1988
Marci MacGuffie, The Coincidence Clock, 2013, brass, motors, 8.5 x 8.5 inches. It is a 26,000 year astronomical clock that combines Geocentric and Heliocentric models with other patterning based on coincidences MacGuffie documented for 25 years.
Painting2
Marci MacGuffie, Untitled, 2016, oil on linen.

Related post:
My neighbors at 117 Grattan Street

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Two Coats of Paint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To use content beyond the scope of this license, permission is required.

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Two Coats of Paint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To use content beyond the scope of this license, permission is required.

1 thought on “Neighbors: Marci MacGuffie @ 55 Washington”

  1. I love that wall piece with the shadow. What an amazing idea–to include the shadow as part of the piece so that it stretches and contracts throughout the day. LOVE.

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