Cheim & Read is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Barry McGee, which will open on January 4, 2018, and run through February 17, accompanied by a catalogue with essay by Katya Tylevich. This is the artist’s second show with the gallery.
Barry McGee is an artist who takes uncertainty and unpredictability as guiding principles. His exhibitions are raucous, provocative mixes of painting, drawing, found objects, and sculpture that leap effortlessly from highly crafted studio works, often featuring geometric patterns or abject figurative motifs, to the commodities and detritus of consumer culture, including entire automobiles and shipping containers. He arranges his work into freely improvised installations that roam across the walls, floors, and ceilings of an exhibition space as well as its ancillary rooms, where it may or may not be seen. Occasionally a number of artworks will depart from the ensemble and hang as discrete objects on the wall, an occurrence that can be startling, even jarring, in its straightforward display of virtuosic technique.
For his new show at Cheim & Read, McGee will transport everything from his San Francisco studio that “resonates” for him, as he has described it. The installation will be assembled from such elements as ceramics; a stack of surfboards; a group of cluster paintings, but done, according to the artist, “in a desperate, more broken way.” His well-known empty liquor bottles, which are painted with portraits of their down-and-out former owners, may be included the show, though hidden away as part of the artist’s program of incorporating unseen objects into an installation, where their energy is meant to be felt as a presence in the room.