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Best Painter 

Margaret Chavigny

Considering the art world's current stylistic chaos and our deep bench of local talent, picking favorites can be an exercise in hair pulling (and hairsplitting). It's also an opportunity to showcase deserving talent. The opulent abstract paintings of Margaret Chavigny are neither radical in concept nor extreme in their choice of materials: Her synthesis "order and chaos, intention and chance, knowing and not knowing" derives from abstract expressionism, while the exploration of memory and meditation through the layering of collage, acrylic, encaustic, and oil paint draws from the traditional art-materials armamentarium (no tofu here). Chavigny draws on an eclectic range of imagery (calligraphy and yogic motifs, among others), but she integrates the symbols into an overall pattern, or overlay of patterns. The paintings' complex beauty and compelling visual authority draw the viewer in; mysterious and poetic mergers of formalism and intuition, they sustain prolonged looking.

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