Maggie Goldstone

I like to think of my work as a distillation. My process is one of layering, editing, and constant revision, all aimed at reducing the image of a given object to its essence—the crudest, affective matter of memory and experience. Abstracting from an archive of the familiar, I paint what I see, what I know, and what I remember. The result of which invokes the mood or energy of a scene, rather than figure or the scene itself.

In service to this ambition, color and form lie as the bedrock of my compositions. I work with bold, intentional palettes that animate the rough forms populating my paintings. My relation to color simultaneously reflects instinct and deliberation. I seek out tones that capture natural light, as well as imbue the sense of more imagined light sources recounted from memory or a dream. Similarly, I am drawn to forms stirred by strong, personal memories—say, an intimate embrace or the soft, pink belly of my dog—and spaces of interiority—recently, those of the bathtub or bedroom. These scenes and their figures provide the rich, familiar context from which my attitude towards color and shape originates. Ultimately, I am drawn to moments of contact—when a hand grips a knee or when nipples first submerge into the bath. These moments have become the most activated parts of my painting. They are exaggerated and made with warm palettes as the rest of the subject fades back into blueness.

My work embraces the ordinary. My imagery derives from self-portraiture, and familiar spaces and people that make up my current environments. Recently, my attention has focused on animal companionship. Memories of love and of loneliness have long informed the affective bent of my art, but the strange delicacy of interspecies living, to put it plainly, offers new insight to my perspective of the everyday. In the give-and-take of animal care, I see reflected the same complexities of human relationships—awkward physicality, unrequited desire, interdependence. Here, however, I work not only to reproduce the visual stakes of these encounters, but to preserve their mystery as well.

The mystery of the subject is carried by the time of day depicted in my work. Lately, I paint moments that happen within dusk or dawn, in between night and day. These are the moments that one’s senses and vulnerability become heightened. Within a transition between light and dark, touch becomes more important than sight. I try to reenact this sensation within my paintings by emphasizing the tactility of the material, and allowing the color to hold the most importance. I spend most of the making process getting lost in texture and mixing colors. In the end, I hope to have created a painting that displays deep care for the material as well as the subject, and acts as an emotional response to the bare existence in the everyday.


2017 Columbia University, MFA, New York, NY

2013 Boston University, BFA, Boston, MA


Select Exhibitions

2017 Columbia MFA Summer Show, False Flag, Queens, NY

2017 Look Her Way, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York, NY

2017 Columbia University MFA Thesis Exhibition, Lenfest Center for the Arts, New York, NY

2017 Junk Show, Rockwall Studios, Brooklyn, NY

2015 Number One, The Washington Neighborhood Center, Sacramento, CA

2016 Finished Goods Warehouse, Pfizer Building, Brooklyn, NY

2016 The Gnome Show, Stern Garden, New York, NY

2016 First Year MFA Exhibition, Wallach Art Gallery, New York, NY

2014 Solo Exhibition for Project Haiti, United States Green Building Council, Washington DC

2013 Umbra, Leroy Neiman Gallery, New York, NY

2013 BFA Thesis Exhibition, 808 Gallery, Boston, MA

2013 Hey, I Think I Like You, Gallery 5, Boston, MA

2012 Chautauqua School of Art Annual Student Exhibition, Fowler-Kellogg Art Center, Chautauqua, NY


Residencies and Fellowships

2013 Summer Intensive Painting: NYC, Columbia University, New York, NY

2012 School of Art at Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY



What to See in New York Galleries This Week, New York Times,

July 6, 2017

56 MFA Students Took Over a Pharmaceutical Factory, Creators Vice, August 25, 2016