In “Nude (Judy)” (1965), she give us a cropped view of a female nude – her breasts and crotch – in shades of gray, with silver leaf functioning as an architectonic element. This and other paintings Marcus executed in grays or a highly circumscribed tonal palette would more than hold their own against Dickinson’s own tonal canvases. All the paintings on view that are done in a restricted palette are dated 1965 or ’66, which seems to suggest that these works constitute a self-contained group within her oeuvre.
In addition to Dickinson, Marcus absorbed lessons from fresco painting and Byzantine portraits. She painted her figures flat with a dry brush, and liked to present them frontally. Even when we see them from the side, Marcus finds ways to acknowledge the picture plane. The colors are chalky. Committed to direct observation, she brought a rare fancifulness into her work.
female artistnude femaleoil and silver leaf on canvas