Margaret Lazzari

b. 1953

Margaret Lazzari paints mostly pastel hued, large-scale landscapes and seascapes that can be described as somewhere between the figurative and the abstract. “I paint about the human experience in the physical world. With luminous color, detailed drawing, and rich painterly surfaces, my paintings allude to the marvel of existence as well as the unknown or mysterious aspect of the world around us.”

Lazzari attended Saint Louis University and studied art. She received an M.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and taught art at St. Louis Community College and also in Iowa. She taught at a university in Texas and since 1986 has taught painting at the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Art and Design where she is now Professor Emerita of Art.

At first Lazzari’s reputation was based on figurative compositions of the human form. From these realistic renderings, she used fractal diagrams and line drawings from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci to develop non-figurative works. By layering elements of repeated imagery, rich coloring, and dense compositions, she created paintings of abstracted reality. In her work the natural world was shown in patterns based on landforms, water, and sky. “My work became abstract so I could deal with colors and patterns that have a lot of energy.”

Lazzari paints on canvas stretched out on the floor. In this way she is able to move around to all four sides of the painting. She applies thinly layered paint in exuberant markings to show water, ice, clouds, storms, and light. The fluid motion of her brush strokes seems to extend beyond the edge of the canvas. 

Lazzari – as half of the Lazzari and Evans Public Art Design Team – has created eight public commissions since 2010 in Los Angeles and in other sites in Southern California. All deal with the persistence of and need for  nature in urban environments. 

Lazzari has written drawing textbooks and has authored ”The Practical Handbook for the Emerging Artist.“ She has also co-authored “Exploring Art: A Global, Thematic Approach.” Her work is in the permanent collections of various public sites as well as Alabama’s Huntsville Museum of Art, Missouri’s St. Louis University, Azusa Pacific University, and Clarke College in Iowa.

More here.

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