Modern Art

Barry McGee

01 Jul - 13 Aug 2011

© Barry McGee
Barry McGee
Untitled, 2011
mixed media, 213 elements
308×758.5 cm
121 1/4×298 5/8 ins
New Work
1 July – 13 August, 2011

Modern Art is delighted to announce an exhibition of new work by Barry McGee. This is McGee’s third solo show with Modern Art, and his first exhibition in London for six years.
Barry McGee’s style and visual language has an instantly recognisable character and unique voice. His work draws its structures and graphic impact from the influences of tagging, ‘Mission School’ abstraction, and vandalism, meeting a formal and installational logic that draws on the conventions of contemporary painting and sculpture. The core of McGee’s practice is the expressive immediacy and spirit of independence that is rooted in the culture and histories of socially motivated intervention in the public realm.
McGee’s paintings and drawings incorporate elegantly draughted elements of figurative linework and repetitive tessellations of geometric, abstract patterns which synthesise found and invented source material. In both formal and informal contexts, bold combinations of colour, shape and knowledgably crafted graphic elements sit against and beside one another, alive with energy and empathy. His pictorial sense touches on the global reach of unsanctioned art that takes place within the fabric of urban architecture, but equally on Hispanic and Latin-American decorative arts, and functional graphics sourced from the post-consumer world. Hundreds of uniquely painted panels and objects can be fitted together, butted against one another in an immersive, site-responsive hang that results from McGee’s openly intuitive working method.
Barry McGee was born in San Francisco, USA, in 1966. He studied painting and printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute, completing a BFA in 1991. Despite an initial hesitance to exhibit in traditional art world contexts, Barry McGee’s work has, throughout the past decade, increasingly embraced gallery and museum environments. Next yearBarry McGee’s work will be the subject of a retrospective exhibition at California’s Berkeley Art Museum, USA. Recent solo museum exhibitions include They Don’t Make this Anymore, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2008); Advanced Mature Work, Redcat, Los Angeles, USA (2007); The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan (2007); John Kaldor Art Projects, Metropolitan Meat Market, Melbourne, Australia (2004); Things Are Really Getting Better, Museum Het Domein, Sittard, Netherlands (2005); Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Boston, USA (2004); Prada Foundation, Milan, Italy (2002): UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA (2000); and Regards, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA (1998). McGee’s work has been included in museum shows including The Anniversary Show, SFMOMA, San Francisco, California, USA (2009); Berkeley Art Museum, California, USA (2009); 2009 Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France (2009); Life on Mars, the 55th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, USA (2008); Meditations In An Emergency, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Michigan, USA (2006); On Line, The Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark (2005); The Liverpool Biennale, Liverpool (2002); Drawing Now, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (2002); The 49th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2001); and Indelible Market, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, USA (2000).

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