“There is a spot you can stand in relation to any Volitia drawing, somewhere not too close but also not too far, in which you can almost, but never quite, pinpoint her remaking as she transforms from leftover dot, from having heard about nothing and of no one, to Superhero. It’s the moment in the cartoon with the stars and the tornado and the exclamation point and the cymbals crashing and the sky imploding when the ordinary goes to chaos in order to become the extraordinary.”

Meeting Volitia

Victoria Loustalot, essay published in conjunction with the exhibition Volitia Returns, Planthouse Gallery, NY

"The dramatic narratives that are being performed in Melissa’s artworks are built upon these dualities. Her pictorial references trace back through the same exact cultural histories as the architectural spaces she is working with. From the Renaissance in Europe through the exportation of Enlightenment Philosophy into the Americas. America’s post-war cultural dominance developed through Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, specifically, and to whatever present state we are living in now! Melissa’s Drawings engage these histories through oppositions and reflections. In Double Self Split she is entering the void, not with stillness, but through action and speed. The black and white drawing remains incomplete, waiting to be colored. Her Floor Drawing will be the size of a European fresco but will remain a cartoon, made of ink not plaster. Complete in its state of Incompletion."

In anticipation of "Double Self Split"

Stuart Elster, artist, April 2016

"She (Marks) draws a fine line between abstraction and figuration, never transgressing the territory of one or the other. The drawings are in panels, the edges being the edge of the paper, a corner where the plane of one wall meets another. It’s a ‘drop down’ panorama, an unfolded landscape, an expanded, sometimes exploded, fragmented floribunda of life form… Before we were warm, the movement aggressive, broad sweeps of colour crash through purple-crimson garnets casting explosive gravity defying splinters to the sky. Then next we are before frozen water, still reflection and the soft yellow light of dawn."

What I see when I look at the work of Melissa Marks

Simon Beckmann, co-founder of Joya: arte + ecología, March 2011

"The psychic movement in and out of the paradisiacal experience is the subtext of Adventures of Volitia: Expulsion from Paradise, the current installation in Bloomberg SPACE by New York based artist Melissa Marks. Marks has chosen the Expulsion story as the organising narrative for the latest adventures of Volitia, an invented female character and alter-ego who has been the central protagonist of the artist’s work since the early 1990s. The name Volitia comes from the word volition or “the act of making a choice or decision.” Volitia’s actions are not determined by some larger power but through her own choice and desires.
(…) At the very centre of a long colour drawing, Volitia, now surrounded by a creeping blue ice formation at left and an elaborately embellished, orange tree on the right, does a double take. She spins to the left and to the right, unsure of which direction to travel. It is a cartoonish, funny moment, like the whirling Tasmanian Devil. It is also the installation’s punctum, or its core. For Volitia, life outside of Paradise is more interesting, despite its uncertainties and contradictions."


Susan Fisher, COMMA11, BloombergSPACE, London, November 2009

"Melissa Marks’s character Volitia cavorts through her drawings with the impudence of Nabokov’s Lolita and the sly pleasure of a cherub. Volitia’s domain is an ethereal realm of voluptuous light. That she is continuously exploding in an amorphous cloud of color punctuates her urgency in a way both hilarious and heartbreaking. Marks’s tongue-in-cheek visual play makes it hard to tell who’s the buffoon, Volitia for being so damned funny under such stress, or her audience for never quite being able to find her. Cherubs and Nabokov aside, we could be in a comic book world of popping balloon captions, or the sophisticated one of Pop art."

Artists On Artists - Melissa Marks

Betsy Sussler, BOMB Magazine, New York City

Reflexiones sobre "Double Self Split", Plataforma de Arte Contemporáneo (PAC), October 2016

La conexión de Nueva York y Vélez Blanco a través de un patio renacentista, El País, August 2016

Nueva York y Vélez Blanco se acercan, Ideal, August 2016

Se acaba el verano y el arte performance, Tasararte, August 2016

Nueva York y Vélez Blanco, una nueva conexión a través del Patio de Honor, La Voz de Almería, August 2016

Inaugurada en Vélez Blanco la obra 'Double Self Split' de Melissa Marks, Diario de Almería, August 2016

Melissa Marks realiza una obra de arte en el Castillo de Vélez BlancoDiario de Almería, August 2016

Melissa Marks expone 'Double Self Split' en el Convento de San Luis, Diario de Almería, August 2016

Double Self Split, Patio de Honor del Castillo de Los Fajardo desde Nueva York, Los Vélez Hoy, August 2016

Exquisite Corpse (press release), Planthouse Gallery, December 2015

Adventures of Volitia: SUNTRAP (press release) Joya: arte + ecología, March 2011 (English version) (Spanish version)

ArtSPACE presents SCRAWL!: Drawing Writ LargeArtSPACE, February 2011

Marks makes mark on Palmer Gallery walls with abstract art, The Miscellany News, Vasar College, September 2010