M A R K S   A A R D S M A




"By contrast, [to multi colored abstract expression type works] Marks Aardsma turns inward. She declines to add any paint at all to her raw canvases and instead picks apart the fibers within the fabric to create patterns of simple thread. It’s an updated, and labor intensive, nod to the ground-breaking Spatialist artists of nearly a century ago, who simply slashed at their canvases to challenge notions of color and space."

     - “Colorado Women in Abstraction” cuts across history...The Denver Post

         By Mark Rinaldi ... August 12, 2016


Denver Post Review


Westword Review



“Marks Aardsma’s work is incredibly pure, elegant and restrained…hardly intrudes upon the viewer in any way, inviting him instead to respond in many ways – provoking, but quietly, all thoughts and reflection.”

     - Dennis Shapiro, The New Art Examiner, Chicago, IL


“[Marks Aardsma's work is] consciously in search of an art of nuance. Most of her pictorial activity is in the configurations produced by her removal of the threads from the canvases.  She does this delicately and with handsomely nimble effect.”

     - Franz Schulze, Chicago Daily News, IL


“[Marks Aardsma has been] doing paintings involving pulling threads since 1971…exquisitely adjusted within the fields…The tracings of a delicate sensibility are evident in all this and it is a pity they weren’t recognized sufficiently years ago….But the misfortune is not necessarily greater than the artist’s talent, and one hopes that the talent will
still win.”

     - Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune, IL


“[The] new work is very beautiful and in its simplicity, quite moving.”

     - David Elliott, Critic’s Choice, Chicago, IL


Marks Aardsma’s pulled thread paintings thoughtfully reveal the nature of canvas itself, sensitively exploiting the intrinsic beauty of the materials.”

     - Corey Postiglione, The New Art Examiner, Chicago, IL


"Everything... is elegant, aloof and well carried out...The show reaches a crescendo of quietness in the double-height gallery....[where] Aardsma creates what look like paintings, but that is something of a misconception, because there is no paint actually on them.  To create the simple bars and lines that make up her compositions, she has unwoven the canvas itself, so that the shadow of the missing threads creates the imagery."

     - Michael Paglia, Westword, Denver, CO


"....Marks Aardsma works with stretched raw canvas, removing strands of the cotton warp to expose bands of weft alone. These are not blank canvases, as the subject here is an invitation to the pieces by way of absence. There is an amazing magnetic poser in the transformation of the missing threads into something of substance."

     - Roger Rapp, Denver, CO


"Using deconstructed raw canvas, Marks Aardsma's pieces explore the nature of painting itself. Each piece contains a series of minuscule strips of canvas, cut so finely that they are virtually transparent.  Layered on top of each other, these strips provide texture to the works, while highlighting the fact that light an space are physical, not an illusion."

     - Jessica Kleinman, 303 Magazine, Denver, CO


“I really enjoyed Marks Aardsma’s new pieces. They seemed rather simple at first shot, with the light play subtle, but were so much more intricate and detailed on closer viewing. I loved the metallic pastel and metal flecks and how they played with the light - the combination of the ethereal light and the coarsely textured, earthy linen.  The rough texture and natural color of the linen she uses are so much more interesting, especially with the metallic additions.  Marks Aardsma’s work has both elements of Earth - the light and the texture - everything else is so small in comparison.”

     - Nancy Hoffman, Baltimore, MD


“Ephemeral Paintings… Mary Jo Marks Aardsma smoothly integrates opposing forces in a highly simplified yet mature body of work titled Ephemerals. A self-described minimal artist (but not pure minimalist), Marks Aardsma has created subtly toned and textured abstracts. A first look reveals a calm piece skillfully created through the use of line and space. Closer examination reveals a hidden energy. Color and texture have been created by her highly obsessive technique of pulling individual threads from the linen canvas and by applying metallic pigment. The attentive viewer will appreciate hidden subtleties and purposeful flaws that emerge from her close attention to detail. The result is a balance between energy and serenity."

     - K.C. Beekman Fine Art, CO


“The non-objective and minimal Linen Ephemeral series by Marks Aardsma evokes a sense of rhythm and structure.   Through her attention to the formal elements of light, line and space - and the use of glistening raw linen canvases infused with metallic pastel and dust - there is a feeling of the endless universe and a re-examination of life.”

     - Stephen C. Sumner, ED, Center for the Arts Evergreen, CO


“Marks Aardsma’s work is powerful in its simplicity and restraint.  Her pulled linen “Ephemeral” pieces are beautifully meditative and delicate.  As a body of work, the pieces are cohesive and strong.  Her use of negative lines and pastels form a visual that is simultaneously bold and subtle.”

     - LuDel Walter, The Squash Blossom Gallery, Colorado Springs, CO


“Marks Aardsma’s canvases show the traces of the human had in their compositions and layout.  A series of pales canvases, all marked with similar hues, function largely on their subtleties.  The pieces share commonalities – tactile visual cue of linen pulled from the stitch of the canvas, the presence of metallic dust, the warm, white tones – but for the artist, their value lies in nuance.”

     - Adam Goldstein, Aurora Sentinel, CO


“They’re really amazing pieces.  I know to the untrained eye or someone who’s not into abstract or minimal art, you just walk in and say you’ve got 20 of the same piece here, and you really don’t.  They’re so much fun to look at and see…what’s different…to see how many different things you can do on the same surface, how you can apply the paint (pastel), where you can remove the threads, different widths, and how clean it can be and then how free it can be.”

     - Kim Harrell, Gallery Owner, East End Applied Arts, CO


“Marks Aardsma’s work is small and delicate, yet big in concept and design.”

     - B. Richter, SOAR, IL


“The artist presents an enthralling mixture of feminine delicacy and masculine vigor.”

     - J. Morsicato, CO





“Marks Aardsma’s work could be called drawing in, of, or about paper. Much like her pulled thread paintings…she uses plain white arches paper as her drawing medium…Cutting and tearing consecutive parallel lines into the paper Marks Aardsma effects a very subtle imagery, with light and shadow playing delicately across the torn edges of the

paper.  The drawings effectively combine the conceptual and visual aspects of the works, creating just plain beautiful drawings.”

     - Corey Postiglione, The New Art Examiner, Chicago, IL


“Perhaps the paper pieces come closest to being the purest expression of Marks Aardsma’s minimalism.  They are really elegant works that float midway between the slightest application to the paper and leaving of it in its original format.”

     - Dennis Shapiro, The New Art Examiner, Chicago, IL