New York–based, Louisiana-born artist Margaret Evangeline (b. 1943) is known for her experimentation with aesthetically resistant material and an expanded painting practice that uses gunshots to transform polished stainless steel panels. The resultant marks—appearing simultaneously as scars and embellishments—break the continuity of these pristine minimalist forms. The fourteen powder-coated aluminum bars assembled in Evangeline’s series of wall sculptures Sabachthani were shot through with 5.56mm M4 rifles and 9mm Beretta M9 pistols at Joint Base Balad in Iraq. These were not the randomly fired shots found in war-torn pockets around the globe; instead, they were staged by the artist. A tremendous beauty lies within these painted slabs that have been eviscerated by an irrevocably violent human action. The beauty isn't in the rupture but in the testimony these singular objects, now shot through, give to all of us who have experienced the shock of the impossibly fast transitions in our lives.
Evangeline’s permanent installation Glass Like a Memory, Steel Like a Valentine is located in Michigan State University’s Armstrong Hall.
Margaret Evangeline: Sabachthani is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Michael Rush, Founding Director. Support for this exhibition is provided by the MSU Broad’s general exhibitions fund.