“Magic Garden” explores the ideas of the enclosed garden and the “Landscape of Symbols”, as described by Kenneth Clark in his 1949 book “Landscape in Art”, comparing the historical symbolism of the Hortus Conclusus to the artist’s perspective on the enclosed space as a protective environment, and a retreat from the chaos and hyperstimulation of the outside world.
Most of the paintings in this series are small; many are 4 inches. Each picture presents a window into a quiet, sibylline world. Their intimate scale invites close, personal viewing – almost like sharing a secret.
When asked, “Why does one paint?” in his sole interview, reclusive painter Albert York responded: “I think we live in paradise. This is a Garden of Eden; really, it is. It might be the only paradise we ever know, and it is just so beautiful, with the trees and everything here, and you feel you want to paint it. Put it into a design. That’s all I can say. It’s been a rather trying business, this painting.” That sentiment, as well as York’s paintings themselves, have hung over this particular body of Marden’s work as a guiding force.
Megan Marden is a painter based in Connecticut. After receiving her BA and MFA in painting from Western Connecticut State University, Megan continued her studies in painting and drawing at the New York Studio School. She has received grants and awards from the State of Connecticut Office of the Arts, the Washington Art Association, and Western Connecticut State University. In 2019 she was a Four Pillars artist in residence at the Mount Gretna School of Art. Megan exhibits her work at the Oxbow Gallery in East Hampton, Massachusetts. Her paintings have also been included in recent group exhibitions at the Joyce Goldstein Gallery, University of Connecticut, The Bowery Gallery and The Painting Center.