Editor Stephanie Cardon reviews Barry McGee’s new exhibition at the ICA Boston:
A disturbing boil, oozing out into the room from the wall, carries with it a tidal wave of framed photographs and sketches. Accumulation is expressed as a growth, a mass, a tumor, which puts the institutional space under stress by suggesting an imminent eruption. But the inflation, repetition, and suggestion of collapse, which many may interpret as playful irreverence, can also intuitively be perceived as a manifestation of doubt—the wooden head banging against the wall, that has all the indications of being a self-portrait, doesn’t help dispel the feeling of creative unease. The artist is conflicted and unresolved. He accepts his presence in the museum, yet shrouds the work, almost entirely made in the late 90s and early 00s, in an atmosphere of frustrated effort. He tags “HACK” across his forehead. [continued at Big Red & Shiny…]
Ink, graphite, acrylic, commercial screenprint, and photographs on paper, frames
115 x 280 1/2 in.
Collection: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Miriam and Erwin Kelen Acquisition Fund for Drawings, 1998
Photo: Glenn Halvorson