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Master of Metal, Interview with Marguerite Elliot,
A Visionary Sculpture Artist

By Adelina, 08-26-2019
中文版

Marguerite is a visionary artist. Through welding, and sculpting her feelings and ideas have been beautifully and meaningfully infused into her artwork. She has mastered the ability to make the invisible tangible and palpable, the abstract concrete, and turning chaos into beauty. In so doing she creates art that captures the public’s attention and encourages them to explore.

Courtesy: Marguerite Elliot

Marguerite has always been ahead of her time, raising questions and facilitating some major social movements since the 1970s. For example, back then she created sculptures designed to raise people’s attention to the homelessness issue which is prevalent in many major US cities today.

Courtesy: Marguerite Elliot

She was also crucial in building the important L.A-based Woman’s Building and promoting Feminist art since 1973. She did it because she felt the urgency and importance of promoting women's rights, especially relating to the male dominated art world. The Woman’s Building was a groundbreaking institution for women’s art and education that profoundly impacted the life and cultural scene of Los Angeles between the 1970s and 1990s. Recently, the Getty Research Institute has archived some of Marguerite’s work along with other feminist artists. 







Visiting Marguerite’s Studio was like paying homage to a modern fine art museum. Every piece on display speaks volumes. Cold steel, symbolizing industrialization, combined with contrasting motifs, such as natural leaves or cast iron seed pods, create a beautiful tension between opposites all the while focusing the viewer’s attention on the fragility of the environment. Through such contrasts, Marguerite creates a profound sense of hope. Rugged edges accentured by smooth lines exhibits balance and harmony in a not so ideal environment.  In my eyes, it is an alternate reality that Marguerite invites her viewers to strive to achieve by putting aside their differences, restore peace among ourselves, and respect the earth.

(Courtesy: Marguerite Elliot)

Currently, Marguerite is working on her “Sentinel” series. A sentinel is someone who keeps watch or stands guard. Her ten to twelve foot welded steel are reminiscent of cell phone towers and function as modern day totems. A top the towers, sit timeless iconographic images sending out symbolic warnings about our relentless destruction of our mother earth. She has placed one in the Arctic in Finland, one in the Cary Hill Sculpture Park in New York, and one is in California.  Is Marguerite sending a prophetic message to the world? I wonder. 

"Salem Sentinel"

Courtesy: Marguerite Elliot

"Kokyangwuti"

Courtesy: Marguerite Elliot

Marguerite’s relentless focus on social-political issues, her precision in metal work, and the beauty of her artform has won her worldwide recognition. Her art has been exhibited in many museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY and art galleries throughout the United States and the world. 

"Salem Sentinel"

Courtesy: Marguerite Elliot

I am very honored to have been able to meet Marguerite in person and learn about her work and achievements. She is definitely a pioneer in elevating the suppressed and uplifting them to heightened awareness. Hers is an example that is hard to replicate.


Marguerite's Website