Nicolai Wallner

Clare Rojas & Barry McGee

17 Mar - 29 Apr 2006

Clare Rojas & project space by Barry McGee

It is a great pleasure for Galleri Nicolai Wallner to present an exhibition with the two San Francisco-based artists Clare Rojas and Barry McGee.
In her works Clare Rojas - whose artistic talent embraces painting, performing and playing music - mixes inspiration from Peruvian and American folk art, creating a unique and personal expression. Rojas' eclecticism includes a fascination with old patterns and traditional crafts, especially patchwork and quilting, but this na•ve nostalgia is contrasted by the obvious connection with contemporary youth culture.
Rojas' carefully detailed paintings reveal obscure relations between men and women and between humans and animals, as in "Bear Mama" (2006) where three indefinable animals attack a woman, whose surprising reaction is a calm smile. Rojas invites us into a strange imaginary world, where surreal and deserted landscapes function as stage for actions that at first sight look peaceful, but on closer inspection seems disquieting - or even threatening.
Rojas is examining and complicating the traditional understanding of sexual roles, for instance painting a woman who holds a small man in her hand. Besides having very feminine gestures the man assumes a pose normally assumed by women in fashion magazines.
Barry McGee, who is one of the foremost figures of the graffiti subculture, is inspired by urbanity. McGee's unique visual language balances between raw street aesthetics and poetic narrative, and he is preoccupied with drawing attention to the absurdities of daily life.
The project "We have a friend in common" consists of four works; a wall covered with vibrantly coloured wood panels featuring a variety of homegrown op-art patterns, a massive cluster of framed photographs and paintings, and two mechanical works.
In addition to the exhibited paintings and sculptures McGee has written "Smash the system" on the gallery walls with red paint. The text prints a physical trace of the artist's actual presence on the white walls of the gallery space. At the end of the sentence a small mechanical sculpture seems to be the one who wrote it all - it becomes a miniature stand-in for the artist.
Clare Rojas has had several exhibitions at galleries and museums, including Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Deitch Projects (New York) and Modern Art Inc. (London), and has produced four folk albums under the artist name Peggy Honeywell.
Barry McGee has had solo shows at UCLA Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), Modern Art Inc. (London) and Deitch Projects (New York). Both artists participated in the traveling group exhibition "Beautiful Losers" (2003).

We are happy to welcome you in the gallery.
With kind regards,
Galleri Nicolai Wallner

© Clare Rojas
Untitled (Your shield looks like a target to me, large version) (2006)
Gouache and latex on multiple panels
296 x 296 cm

Tags: Barry McGee, Clare Rojas