Icon "Okoboji", 2002, Distemper on linen, 15" x 4.5" $9000
Margaret Krug received her MFA in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited in Mexico, Italy and throughout the United States. She is Senior Lecturer at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Adjunct Professor of painting and drawing at Parsons School of Design. She created and teaches a painting program at the Castello di Spannocchia in Italy. She was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and she lives and works in New York City.


What are your influences?

Family and ancestors
I like to paint and draw my family and ancestors, their mementos, and the places where they have spent time. It is a way to get to know them. In an ongoing portrait project, my intention is to make studies of them to explore their history and my own. I do not know some of the individuals, and I know a little about others through fascinating, although, vague stories. In the best circumstances, I work from life. More often, I work from a single, small, faded photograph. What often emerges is an image of an individual ancestor imbued with the memory of the characteristics of a current family member.

The words and the structure of the writing of Italo Calvino, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Dante, Willa Cather, and Flannery O'Connor among others inspire me to paint. Their words inform my vision of my own ancestral history.

Other artists
The synthesis of eastern and western elements found in paintings with Christian themes by early Renaissance Sienese painters such as Duccio, Simone Martini, and Pietro Lorenzetti inspires and encourages me. Due to their exposure to textiles during the silk trade, they were able to incorporate patterns and decorative motifs from the East. I am moved by the tender light that early Renaissance Venetian painter, Giovanni Bellini brought into his painting and by the extreme delicacy of Agnes Martin's touch, and the evidence of the fluctuations of her hand which can be detected up close and from a distance. Willem de Kooning's luscious, juicy brushstrokes suggest to me an exuberant relationship with paint.

Why do you make art?
I am fascinated by materials – the smell, the feel, and the touch – and the processes of making art. Memory and presence are central concerns. I do this work because it makes me deeply happy.