"These images exist outside of time. They offer themselves as thoughts that resonate in the universe of theories—the explanations of what, not why. In her latest series, “Particles,” Peggy Fox does not illustrate the concepts and terms of physics, she only lets them connect with her visual ideas, pairing up in the singularity of art and photography where the rules are rewritten in a personal way. Photographs of beads become particles, or electric pearls, when printed on transparencies and adhered to an aluminum sheet. Other lighting effects are created around the particle images. In works such as “Dark Matter,” “String Theory,” and “Particle/Wave” the dramatic lighting induces a mood of endless space. You are floating in an eternity. In “Chaos Theory” and “Three Sorts of Quarks” Fox paints in oils directly on the aluminum, around the transparencies, to create a near-space sense of movement suggesting unknown forces. Fox grew up in Philadelphia and trained as a painter at Moore College of Art. She was the director of the art department at St. Paul’s School and subsequently became one of the first professional women photographers in Baltimore. Her 20 years of commercial photography led to independent projects like documenting people in their places, such as “Patapsco: Life along Maryland’s Historic River Valley” and “The Streets of Baltimore.” There is a wide breadth in the work of Peggy Fox, yet there is always a seemingly magical mix of art and photography that results in seamless composites. Earlier works, such as “Morality Tales,” are surreal, occupying that narrow gap between imagination and hard reality that makes you wonder which is which. You happily give up your seat in reality and catch the trip to delightful illusion. “Mixed Messages” with Peggy Fox & Nancy Wilson at Gallerie Francoise ESF, November, 2007
Fox is more of a photographer than not with more than a dozen images on display; however, it appears that every image has been altered in some form with multiple exposures, hand-coloring and -tinting, collaging images, then re-photographing, or adding layers and textures to negatives during the printing process. "Burrs Heart" and "Where Spider Woman Lives" are surreally documented landscapes photographed from atop a cliff edge in New Mexico. The images themselves appear to be totally artificial, like small models that have been made in the studio and photographed as real places. It is difficult to tell exactly what gives the images this deceitful appeal. Their strange earthy tones appear to have been tinted and hand-colored but are so flawless that it is next to impossible to understand exactly where they have been manipulated, and the images are so bizarre to begin with that it is impossible not to question their validity. Similarly, Fox's photographs of koi ponds in China are as beautiful as they are mind-boggling. She created this series of works by taking eight pictures of koi swimming, then combining the images into 13 different compositions. What results are dense blue-black watery backgrounds with bursts of color as the koi appear near the surface. The scale of the fish change within each combination, creating depth and layering. The final prints are like firework bursts in the sky and left me wishing that they were printed much larger. -Jason Hughes, City Paper Art Critic
Peggy Fox's "Lost in the Cosmos", at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Metro station, and Ellen Burchenal's "Wave", at the Shot Tower/Market Place Metro station, both fit into the category of contemporary public art. Fox's busy "Lost in the Cosmos" will wake you up. It's a visual kaleidoscope, incorporating images of people, transportation (train, car, plane, bicycle), star charts and constellations, even a nursery rhyme: A big cow jumps over the moon.Lost in the Cosmos Fox has said there's a narrative to all this. To me it's about the human urge to challenge frontiers, appropriate to an institution where people challenge medical frontiers, will stimulate the imagination of some and strike others as visually chaotic and jangling. Both artists are good, and both have taken legitimate, if quite different approaches. But considering their creations as works of art, Peggy Fox's has much more interest.n"Aesthetics Go Along For Ride At Metro Stops" -John Dorsey, Baltimore Sun Art Critic
Collage artist Peggy Fox has conjured up a galaxy of intriguing images to engage passengers at the new Johns Hopkins Hospital metro stop. Fox won the commission for the mural through an open competition in 1987, shortly after work on the subway extension began.
"Underground Art" -Megan Hamilton, Freelance Writer
The theme of "The Figure Within" at the Halcyon Gallery makes this show sound intriguing. Peggy Fox's photographic works have considerable presence, and her figures neatly turn the tables on this show's title. In two of her three works here, the setting is the representational part, and the figure is the abstract part: It exists as the visualization of an idea and not as the representation of a human. "Abstraction And The Human Figure" -John Dorsey, Sun Art Critic
When Peggy Fox takes a black-and-white photograph, her work is just beginning. She proceeds to paint the photo, incorporate some computer-manipulated imagery, and add other bits of collage material. There is enough representational imagery in Fox's photos to make their more abstract painterly passages seem like expressive underscoring of figurative material. "Medium Is The Message" -Mike Giuliano, Baltimore City Paper Art Critic
The work of Peggy Fox and Jack Radcliffe demonstrate the flexibility inherent in the photographic medium. Peggy Fox's manipulated photographs vibrate and resonate with layers of meaning and visual metaphors...creating exciting, powerful images. Once upon the image, we are further drawn into the layers of color and meaning Fox has so adeptly built. Her powerful visual vocabulary engages and then captures us, forcing our imagination and intellect into unknown, but exciting dimensions. "Maryland Photographers: Recent Works By Peggy Fox And Jack Radcliffe" -Cynthia Wayne, Curator of Exhibitions, Albin H. Kuhn Library and Gallery