Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Marianne A. Kinzer: Water- Elixir of Life

March 23, 2015

"Flow" by Marianne A. Kinzer

A lifelong fascination with water—its flow patterns, its symbolic richness, and its role in life on earth—shapes the work of Marianne A. Kinzer. The exhibition of 10 of her paintings at the Watson Institute reflects this focus.

"My paintings are playful explorations of how water shapes and connects us all," says Kinzer. "I look at flow patterns and idealized drop-shapes. I observe how they relate to organic forms. In my studies of natural environments, I came to realize that water flow patterns are to be found in all living things.  We cannot come into existence without water and we cannot survive without it.  In fact, we are water-beings.”

Kinzer uses patterns of flow in her watercolor paintings to raise awareness of the interconnectedness between humans and their environment. “Through the constant exchange of fluids, we are connected to each other and the world around us,” she says.

Working exclusively with watercolor, Kinzer makes paintings that contain water patterns that drip, meander, branch, braid, weave, and spiral.  Her free compositions have an abstract quality, but they refer to an underlying reality.  

“I love the way watercolor flows,” she says. “My subject—water and its importance for all living beings—is best expressed by the fluidity of water-based paint. I like its transparency, the ambiguity of what’s below and what’s reflected.... Watercolor offers an interesting tension between chance and control.”

Kinzer sees herself as a global citizen. Born and raised in Germany, she is American by choice. She has travelled extensively, and has lived and worked in Turkey, Chicago, and Boston, where she currently maintains a studio. 

She has studied drawing, painting and printmaking at the University of Fine Arts Berlin and at the School of the Art Institute Chicago. Her work has been featured in galleries in Germany, Turkey, and the US, and is held in private collections in all three countries.

The show will run from April 1 to May 31, 2015.