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ZHENI maslarova WARNER

Princess Margaret – Private and public person


205 x 186 x 20 cm

Oil paint, glaze, perspex, glass neon and illuminated wire on canvas

Asking Price: £80,000

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Zheni Maslarova Warner, originally from Bulgaria, moved to the UK to study at the former Norwich School of Art and Design, where she later taught life drawing. She has exhibited extensively across the globe, often alongside artists such as Max Bill, John Hoyland, Damian Hirst and Anish Kapoor. Her signature is the use of layers of colour and tone, built up to a translucent surface emphasised by the excitement and brilliant use of paint in their form. Her current works incorporate lightboxes, neon and illuminated wire in a variety of combinations, transforming into a second painting once they are switched on. 

The composition of Maslarova’s main piece originated in a strictly formalist manner, sketching out the main structural elements in the original photograph: the mirrors, the cupboards, the doorway and Princess Margaret's figure. She delved deep into issues of travel and refuge, love and formality, by carefully placing abstract references to the subject’s life. As in every portrait, the central element is the face, which she chose to portray as a neon-illuminated feature, together with the cushion, creating similarly lit up areas to represent the Princess’s differing roles. The illumination under the dome represents the private Margaret, whilst the flowing neon represents her public persona.

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