AM has been keeping a watchful eye on Continental European shows featuring works by Barry McGee. Whenever the cashflow gods have been on our side, we’ve booked the necessary flights or trains to attend as well. This was the case with the 2010 joint show with Danish artist HuskMitNavn at A.L.I.C.E. Gallery in Brussels, and the 2009 three-man show (which also included Ed Templeton and Raymond Pettibon) curated by Aaron Rose at Berlin’s Circleculture Gallery. However, the last time McGee exhibited in the UK was 2008 at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. And his last show in London was in 2005, which ran alongside one by Clare Rojas — at a time when Stuart Shave/Modern Art was still located on Vyner Street.
New Works (teased) at Stuart Shave/Modern Art (now based in the Fitzrovia district) sees an impressive return by Twist to the Big Smoke. We understand that he, with the assistance of his friend, collaborator and fellow San Francisco artist, Josh Lazcano / Amaze, worked late nights in setting up the exhibition. Their efforts paid off and this show comes highly recommended by AM. It continues until 13 August.
See more commentary and photos from the 30 June opening after the jump.
Of particular interest was the large-scale, imposing installation consisting of 213 framed paintings, drawings and photographs hung in McGee’s trademark extreme salon-style, complete with a bulging-wall effect.
Last week’s opening brought together an interesting mixture of enthusiasts. Among those we spoke to or simply noticed were contingents from the US, Brazil and Japan, artists, art dealers, bloggers, skateboarders, a fashion photographer with muse, current and former members of one of London’s most prolific graffiti crews, and representatives from Christie’s auction house. It seemed indicative of the broad appeal that McGee’s artwork has.
Twist himself was present during the evening, characteristically discrete just outside the premises, chatting with gallery visitors and adding his different tags to the various books, flyers and other items they had brought for him to sign. When asked, the artist expressed a preference to not have his photograph taken, which was a fair enough request.
Since a bit of criticism always serves as a healthy counterbalance to praise, perhaps it would have been preferable if the show had a couple of weaknesses we could point out. The problem is that we didn’t spot any.
As a separate note, for those living in Copenhagen or visiting the city over the next few days, Let’s Go Bombing Tonight — a group show curated by McGee and Josh Lazcano at V1 Gallery — closes this Saturday 9 July.
Text and photographs by Patrick Nguyen.