Ryan McGinness, ‘Exquisite Corpse 14’, ca. 2011, Mana Contemporary


More than 180 internationally recognized visual artists, architects, designers and photographers participated in the Armitage Gone! Dance Exquisite Corpse Project, beginning in 2011. The artists created one hundred and thirty nine artworks to benefit Armitage Gone! Dance, an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company under the direction of renowned choreographer Karole Armitage. Using the 1920's surrealist parlor game "cadavre exquise," a drawing that combines words and/or images by multiple artists on one sheet of paper, the project celebrates the theme of chance encounters, surprise and radical juxtaposition. Each artist adds to the composition, in sequence, without seeing the contribution of the previous person. The chance juxtaposition of images and styles results in a work that is both unexpected and amusing. Each drawing is a combination of the work of three or four artists.

The Exquisite Corpse project is a way for a wide range of artists to express their support for Armitage’s work and also a way for her to acknowledge artists who have played such a large role in her career. The project also highlights the “performative” aspect of art-making by demonstrating that drawing, performance art, and dance all have in common spontaneity and an unpredictable nature. The evanescent quality of dance is mirrored in the surprising juxtapositions of the Exquisite Corpse.

Image rights: (Top-Bottom) Ryan McGinness - Marker, Ink; Dana Hoey - Photo Collage; Tom Otterness - Marker, Pastel

About Ryan McGinness

Equal parts Pop, Baroque, commercial, and street, Ryan McGinness’s psychedelic paintings merge slick biomorphic abstraction with surrealistic imagery. Trained as a graphic artist, McGinness transfers and subverts the images and techniques of commercial illustration—logos and symbols, silkscreening, hard edges, and vibrant colors—into his boldly graphic yet graceful works. “My paintings are composed of many units of meaning,” he says. “Individual drawings come together to create non-linear narrative mindscapes—random access memories.” McGinness has translated these same concerns across a range of mediums, creating sculptures, projections, and immersive installations of fluorescent light. His recent work Women: Blacklight Paintings & Sculptures (2012) exploded his body of nude figurative studies into an installation of glow-in-the-dark sculptures and exuberant, layered paintings. Of his predilection for neon, McGinness has said: “When I look inward, those are the colors I see.”

American, b. 1972, Virginia Beach, Virginia, based in New York, New York

About Dana Hoey

Photographer Dana Hoey achieved recognition for her staged compositions investigating women's social roles and relationships, often depicting counter-cultural, idealistic figures, as in Freedom Officers (1999), two female correction officers on four-wheelers, or Pregnant Smoker (2002), a woman reclining in ecstatic triumph. Recently, she has departed from her narrative style in series like "Pattern Recognition" (2006), kaleidoscopic collages of original and appropriated images of women, and "Experiments in Primitive Living" (2007-2008), a photographic cycle exploring life under different weather conditions.

American, b. 1966, San Francisco, California, based in New York, New York

Solo Shows

Angela Meleca Gallery, 

About Tom Otterness

Since the 1970s, Tom Otterness has been populating public spaces with his impish human and animal sculptures, through which he gently lampoons American society. Disarmingly cute and cartoonish, and underpinned by art history, popular culture, and a democratic vision, his characters mock societal groups. “The artwork itself has five character types: blue collar workers, white collar workers, cops, […] radicals, […] and […] rich people,” he says. “And I take those five classes and […] make scenarios out of them.” Otterness uses the “lost wax” process to cast his bronze figures, which range from monumental to palm-sized. He explores class, money, race, and sex in his works, putting these fraught topics into the public sphere to spark conversation.

American, b. 1952, Wichita, Kansas, based in New York, New York

Solo Shows

Marlborough Gallery, New York,

Group Shows

The Museum Show: Works that were exhibited, owned, sold by - or about - museums (including the gift shops!!!)
Museum of Modern Art, 
New York, NY, USA,
An International Survey of Recent Painting and Scultpure
The Tate Gallery, 
London, UK,
New Art at the Tate Gallery
View Artist's CV