On Art

From Meg Hitchcock’s Illuminations

(clockwise from left) Emerge from Invisibility and Become Visible; Of His Vast Almighty Head; The Hundreds and Thousands of My Forms; The Ferryman; The Nine Eyes Widely Opened

New York–based artist and writer Meg Hitchcock’s most recent series—an on­going group of works on paper titled Illuminations—is typified by colorfully painted organic clusters of extruded geometric forms. These collections of shapes are complemented by collaged fragments of sacred text pulled from various religious traditions, alongside an array of mixed-media embellishments such as drawing, erasure, sewing, and even burning.

A former evangelical, Hitchcock no longer embraces one single faith but instead describes her recent work as “illuminating the state of awareness . . . found at the heart of [all] spiritual traditions.” Throughout the series, we see the central figure shift in its size, shape, perspective, and colors, suggesting both the dynamic unknowability of the Divine in a comprehensive sense and the reward yet available in the search for its traces.

In Hitchcock’s words, “the Illuminations are at once serious and playful, negating a single interpretation and cultivating an approach to spirituality that is inclusive and open-ended.”

Hitchcock was just awarded an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant for 2023.