In recent years, Gainesville artist Margaret Ross Tolbert has developed two distinctive bodies of work: the springs of North and Central Florida, and Turkish doors. The two subjects are united through Tolbert’s powerful use of color in her brilliant, large-scale oil paintings. This exhibition features 13 paintings ranging in scale from 60×48 inches to 90×396 inches. A catalogue created by the Polk Museum of Art will complement this exhibition.
For over 20 years, Ms. Tolbert has explored the depths of the springs in North and Central Florida. The colors and light are unique and remarkable. She works on site to capture these elements, before transferring them to her large canvases. She has also made numerous journeys to Turkey during the last two decades, making innumerable sketches of the people and places she has encountered. Most fascinating for her have been the doors leading into many of the most beautiful and exotic buildings in the world.
Though separated by thousands of miles, the springs of Florida and the doors of Turkey are united by many things. First is history. Though one is natural and the other man-made, both the springs and the doors have stories to tell. But they are also linked aesthetically. Turkey, as one of the most important trade destinations throughout much of the last two millennia, has achieved a combination of decorative roots unlike anywhere in the world. The same special circumstances have existed in Florida to allow for the formation of the springs. The cool blues and greens of the springs are no more lush than the golden hues of the doors.