Art Museum of the Americas Catalog
Belgica Rodriguez, Director,
Art Museum of the Americas; Art Critic
"The Art Museum of the Americas is proud to show the sculptures that make up "Forest" in the Aztec Garden of the Organization of American States. These sculptures created by the local artist, with an international background, Margot S. Neuhaus, represents the Museums' keen desire to bring to the people of Washington and the world interesting developments in the visual arts. These 'trees' which make up the 'Forest' show Ms. Neuhaus' respect for the materials which she uses in her work. This respect can be seen in all of her work whether stone or wood, her primary materials. Ms. Neuhaus comes to the Museum by an interesting path: starting with her birth in Mexico City (she is an American and Mexican citizen); then her education, in psychology at the University of Illinois, psychiatric social work at the University of Chicago and in art at the Escola de Artes Visuais, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and eventually to Washington, D.C. Here she has sculpted, worked with other artists on installations, designed sets for the theatre and collaborated on dance performances. This devotion to creativity makes it a pleasure for the Museum to exhibit her work."
Adriana Bianco, Art Critic
"Neuhaus belongs to the club of solitary artists like Morandi, Giacometti, Hopper, O'Keefe, who follow their internal voices, rather than prevailing styles or trends....there is a unifying minimalist undercurrent throughout the different stages.....her work sustains mystery and revelation."
Fabian Goncalves Borrega, Exhibit Coordinator
Art Museum of the Americas
The photographic work of the Mexican born Margot S. Neuhaus makes reference to the works of the f64 group. Her work in the digital age advocates for the pure un-manipulated straight photography, with sharp-focus, close ups and long tonal range. A similar framework proposed by Alfred Stieglitz signaled the end of the hegemonic Pictorialism movement in photography of the beginning of the century characterized by the use of the darkroom manipulation and especially the soft focus.
Ms. Neuhaus comes from the sculpture realm with a strong conceptual component. For her it's natural to find the sculptural elements in the close-ups of the Magnolia Series as Edward Weston does in his own work, and her evocation of abstract forms also refers to the early work -1915- of Paul Strand. Ms Neuhaus in her photograph looks for a beautiful print with a mystical sensitivity as Adriana Bianco explains in her essay "Nature, Space, and Light", in FotoMundo Argentina, about Ms. Neuhaus exhibit titled "Luminous Silence" at the art Museum of the Americas TL Gallery.
Mark Jenkins, Art Critic
"Most ethereal of all are two pieces in Margot Neuhaus’ “Black Line” series......The work could hardly be simpler, or the result more intriguing."
Mary McCoy, Art Critic
"Neuhaus has made a significant leap from her earlier, more delicate wood and stone sculptures to these museum-scale pieces by radically simplifying...Arranged in mirror images and progressions, there is a hint of the Natural History Museum in their exposed grain and a poetic quietude in its rough simplicity."
"For those who find abstract sculpture hard to fathom, the simplicity and humor of Neuhaus' work is the perfect antidote."
"Neuhaus was born in Mexico and studied art in Brazil, but her use of natural materials is akin to British sculptors such as David Nash and Andy Goldsworthy."
Michael Welzenbach, Art Critic
"The minimal gray-shale-and-wood work of Neuhaus evinces the timeless appeal of landscape. Some of the artist's pieces, especially the lovely Inroads, strongly recall the early stone studies of Jim Sanborn, and certainly deal with the same planar and spatial concerns. While not all of Neuhaus' work suggests landscape in miniature, they are all 'earthy' in that she always maintains the integrity of her natural materials and employs the carefully varnished wood and painted steel stands for their contrast value. They heighten the sense that these stone compositions were found as is rather than composed and worked by hand."
Jo Ann Lewis, Art Critic
"Earth Five, the current site-sculpture show at Glen Echo Park is a very big idea, and gives Washington at least a taste of the kind of sculptural excitement-and experimentation-that goes on at Art Park at Lewiston, NY every summer...Most prominent is Life Cycles by Margot Neuhaus...Though wholly abstract, the piece has anthropomorphic overtones, conjuring the image of people watching a wrestling match, or some other physical activity. The work has close-up pleasures as well. The wood has been stripped of its bark, the surfaces then gauged, and carved to heighten awareness of textural and color variations in the cedar. It is an altogether pleasing experience."
Claudia Rousseau, Art Critic
"In this room are two extraordinarily subtle works by Margot Neuhaus, 'Black Line #1 and #2...'"
Joanna Shaw-Eagle, Art Critic
"'Earth Five', is the most important show around.....M. Neuhaus' 'Life Cycles' dominates by its prominent positioning and by its dynamic vertical thrusts of four cedar poles....powerful totemic images addressing timeless philosophical preoccupations, life and death universal cycles...relates intimately to change and nature--both inner and outer."
Sarah Tanguy, Art Critic
"It would seem that making wood sculpture is the destiny of artist Margot Neuhaus. Indeed, her maiden name Schnitzer means woodcarver.... Neuhaus created an outdoor/indoor show around the theme of the forest. For nine months she analyzed the essential elements for wood and invented a detailed vocabulary that she joined in seemingly endless combinations...full of primal mystery...With the curiosity of a child, and the precision of a scientist, she sliced full trunks into halves and cross sections, exposing a linear network that echoed African scarification or wrinkles of an aging body...After spending time with Neuhaus' work, it would be hard to overlook the pattern in bark, the rings and knots in wood, and easier, perhaps to delight in such observations...Not surprisingly, Neuhaus names two giants of 20th century sculpture who have been important to her development, Englishman Henry Moore, and the Romanian Constantin Brancusi. Yet, looking at her work, one does not see evidence of imitation, but rather of a kindred spirit. All three seek to bring out the order and inner rhythms of nature, through simple arrangements of organic form. In Neuhaus' sculpture however, the elements of narrative are more subtle and use of natural materials less mediated."
Lee Fleming, Art Critic
"'Forest', Neuhaus' manmade artistic wood, surrounds viewers with an 'Alice in Wonderland' experience...the result is a surprisingly humorous crossover between POP art and bio-organics...The piece achieves its goals; we reflect on real forests, natural materials, our relation (physical and metaphorical) to nature--and still get pleasure from the walkthrough...Neuhaus sets up an interesting contrast between indoor and outdoor, between how we perceive materials in one setting, and then in another."
Mary McCoy, Art Critic
"The quest for order and structure is Margot S. Neuhaus' theme. Whether chipping a circle into flagstone or exploring the logic of parallel lines (like interstate highways) traced across small slabs of stone, it is the quest itself that is the subject...Neuhaus presents the entire process with straightforward, refreshing simplicity, as evidence of the flux of life."
Donald Kuspit, Art Historian, Art critic
"First rate work, Particularly liked the wood and stone pieces. Great dignity, authority. Appreciate and admire the sensitivity in the paper works and photographs. Delicate and intense at once. Spiritual, yes......"