Magalie Guérin: The Psychology of Artmaking

New SomoS resident artist

01.05.2018   - 31.07.2018

SomoS is pleased to welcome French-Canadian painter Magalie Guérin (1973) to its Artist-in-Residence program. The Chicago-based artist joins SomoS May-July 2018 in Berlin, where she will conduct visual, intellectual and emotional research to develop further her abstract painting process.

After concluding a residency at the Marfa Texas Chinati Foundation, (the contemporary art museum founded by the artist Donald Judd) Guérin will continue her work in Berlin, curious to see how the difference in landscape and cultural context, from Marfa’s solitude and serenity to Berlin’s urban hustle and bustle, will affect her work and also curious to discover what new forms the architecture in Berlin will inspire in her work.

Process-wise, Guérin’s work begins with the building of a specific shape, generated using multiple coats of gesso on canvas, creating grooves and textures. A lover of seriality, Guérin repeats the resulting relief form on multiple canvases, where she then intuitively adds oil paint and watches the fixed shapes resist monotony.
Guérin’s way of working can be disorienting to the viewer, as Art In America magazine noted, as “her works jettison the pictorial order of background and foreground, as many pure abstractions do. Moreover, they thwart the viewer’s efforts to understand the chronology of their strata—to know which thing precedes another.”

Her ongoing reflections on the psychological, professional, and creative aspects of art making are recorded in a detailed way by Guérin in her studio diary.

Speaking about the relation between her visual art and its literary reflection in her art writing, Guérin states:

The completed painting reflects the history of its construction (the psychology of its maker) –a process I’m most interested in. There is a clear individuality to each of the works; a result I find compelling and will spend much time analyzing through writing.

Magalie Guerin, Artist’s Statement


A selection from Magalie Guérin’s studio journal was published to popular and critical acclaim as “NOTES ON” by the Chicago-based Green Lantern Press, in March 2016.

Magalie Guérin’s solo exhibition of drawings “Morgenspaziergang” is on view at Schwarz Contemporary Berlin from 29.6 – 28.7.2018.

Magalie Guérin’s hompepage: