Five years since his last, and inaugural exhibition, with Cheim & Read, Barry Mcgee opened his latest solo last week at the New York gallery. The show is once again an eclectic mix of original works, installation, sculptures, various paraphernalia and personal objects, all displayed and installed in the most unexpected and uncompromising manner.
For this large showcase the American artist transported everything from his San Francisco studio that “resonates” for him, as he has describes it. A large, floor to ceiling stack of vintage surfboards dominates the space, once again showing his passion for one of his favorite activities. Opposing those is a large cluster of various works on paper installed on a bulging wall. These pieces are done with acrylic, ballpoint pen, gouache, aerosol paint, or are found photographs with an emphasis on newer works in which his sad men characters are treated as “connect the dots” points using black spray paint. The other rooms include various works on panel, including his recognizable pattern pieces, geo based forms, and newer works constructed using color gradient square forms that resemble a stack of vintage TVs, something the artist has done in the past. In between those are different sculptural pieces made of wood, paper mache and ceramic, with a separate shelf focused solely on hand painted ceramic plates.
The elaborate show also includes a L. FONG HEALING ARTS CENTRE section, tables displaying different zines and memorabilia produced or collected by McGee, as well as selection of works by his friends. Along with painted found objects, car tires used as base for sculpture pedestals, or both fake and actual banners or signs displayed next to the original artworks, the Mission School artist once again put together a mesmerizing body of work that demonstrates both his diversity of interests and influences, as well as his appreciation for the gritty side of his vibrant hometown.
Discuss Barry McGee here.