Philadelphia artist Marilyn Holsing has created a series of works on paper that are illustrative vignettes based on fictitious characters, most often young girls poised in wry, dreamlike scenarios. Each painting typically features one figure, often with long braided hair, framed within a seemingly floating, isolated pastoral scene. Usually, the young girl is actively engaged in odd, sometimes humorous situations like riding a horse while lying on her back or having braided hair so long that she has to push it up the hill in a wheelbarrow. Holsing's imagery and painting techniques are inspired by the scenes and monochromatic palettes of toile fabric, an 18th-century French textile design characterized by the depiction of gentrified society at leisure. A fabric still popular today, Holsing's imaginative interpretation of toile is a contemporary view of our collective culture.
Marilyn Holsing, Works on Paper, Cargo (detail)
Marilyn Holsing, Anticipation, 2003