Marsha Cottrell

Marsha Cottrell
Old Museum (Interior_7)
Laser toner on paper.
9 3/16 x 11 5/8 inches (23.4 x 29.5 cm)
Gift of the Modern and Contemporary Collectors Committee, 2015
Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter

Since the late 1990s, Brooklyn-based Marsha Cottrell has been creating “computer-assisted” drawings with a computer and a laser printer as tools. Her early works were abstract compositions made of punctuation signs that she would often distort. Using technology in an old-fashioned way she does not create a digital file, so that each work is unique. To produce the present drawing she passed the sheet (a highly resistant type of Japanese paper) several times through the printer, each time changing the rectangles on the screen. She described her process as “a random pattern of actions that is impossible to retrace.” This sheet, evocative of looking through a window from the outside, is part of her Interior series, a group of tonal works that are meditations on light and space. Paradoxically, Cottrell uses modern technology to create moody, nostalgic images reminiscent of nineteenth century Symbolism.

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