Margaret Evangeline talks about her work in her studio space on Made in New Orleans.

'Sabachthani' is on view at the Eli and Edythe Broad Museum from Jan 17th to March 30, 2014 -

"The fourteen powder-coated aluminum bars assembled in Evangeline's series of wall sculptures Sabachthani were shot through with 5.56mm M4 rifles and 9mm Beretta M9 pistols at Joint Base Balad in Iraq. These were not the randomly fired shots found in war-torn pockets of the globe; instead, they were staged by the artist. A tremendous beauty lies within these painted slabs that have been eviscerated by an irrevocably violent human action."

In the Spring of 2013 Margaret Evangeline was invited by the New York Public Library to give a talk on her book 'Sabachthani', which documents her 2011 artistic collaboration with American soldiers in Iraq.

Margaret Evangeline is a contemporary painter, sculptor, and installation artist who lives and works in New York City. Born in 1943 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Evangeline’s Cajun grandfather taught her the ways of the family farm from a young age, bringing her along to the cotton gin when the crop came in, and teaching her how to shoot, ride, and fish. 


By 1978, she had become the first female recipient of an MFA in Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans. With her degree complete and a newfound artistic community to support her, Evangeline set out on the path that ultimately led her to New York City and to her career as a renowned contemporary artist.


It was upon settling in Manhattan that Evangeline was able to begin processing the impact of the south on her work, and experimenting with the way in which location affected her practice. Today, the experience of growing up in Louisiana has come to define her work as an artist. During a residency at Art OMI in 1999 Evangeline borrowed a rifle from a local farmer and fired a single shot through a piece of metal. While for her grandfather shooting had been a means of survival, for Evangeline the process of shooting served as a direct line from her life in contemporary art to his experience, and that of his ancestral lineage of explorers, traders and gunsmiths. 


In 2002, during a residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute dedicated to supporting artists affected by 9/11, Evangeline began to further explore the act of shooting. Confronted by the vastness of the landscape and mired in the unanswerable questions left in the wake of the national tragedy, Evangeline began shooting holes in giant aluminum panels, engaging the landscape of the place through the absence she had created in the works, thereby finding a language to explore the collective loss the country was feeling. 

Evangeline has since gone on to create a stunning collection of shot metal sculptural works and large-scale installations that provide an abstract reflection on collective memory, loss, growth, and the passage of time.


Evangeline is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, 2001, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, 1996. Evangeline's work has received wide coverage in publications such as Art in America, The New York Times, The New York Post, The Chicago Tribune, Art Newspaper, and ArtNews. Her work has been exhibited in individual and group context at such prominent institutions as The Drawing Center, Art in General, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Palm Beach ICA, the Hafnarborg, Reykjavik, Iceland, the The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU, and the Taipei Museum in Taiwan.