Originally from Philadelphia, Pensylvania, Marci Gintis is a long time resident of Massachusetts. She has exhibited her paintings at galleries and museums throughout the U.S., including the Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, and the Danforth Museum in Framingham, MA; the Warwick MFA in Rhode Island; and the Helen Schlein Gallery, Boston.
She received both her BFA and MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University. She is Professor Emeritus at Westfield State College.
The work of Marci Gintis encompasses a wide range of ideas and techniques. Her current work on memory and loss includes cemetary landscapes from Budapest, where she resides part of the year; portraits of her family; and objects rediscovered when she closed her father's house.
Earlier work looked to political events for source material. Her paintings of the turtured or the dead are a response to political repression and those who have ‘disappeared’ or had their human rights violated. Deriving her poignant images from both photographs from newpaper accounts and nineteenth century ambrotypes of the dead, Gintis situates her figures within hand-built, canrved, and gessoed panels based on Italian medieval devotional alterpieces. The combination of the beauty and delicacy of the painted egg tempera surfaces and the religious overtones of the shaped, trefoil openings which surround the figures elevates these ordinary people to the status of martyrs.
Rachel R. Lafo and Sarah R. Roberts, 10 Artists/10 Visions, DeCordova Museum.
Marci Gintis...sees (herself) as part of the long history of representation that stretches from the cave painters until now, using time-honored methods...(She) nevertheless produces works that unmistakably belong to the late twentieth century. (She) has been exploring archaic techniques for a numbr of years, mastering the methods of egg tempera painting and gilding used by Pre-Renaissance artists. She uses the symbolism of the enshrined figures however, not to depict madonnas or saints, but the martyrs of our own time, that is, the victims of political and military violence as pictured in the daily press...Gintis’ small paintings of fruits and vegetables in roken gold frames are both hymns to life and elegies, a kind of vanitas or reminder of death.
Helen Schlein, Guest Curator, Still Life and Portraits, Danforth Museum.