Gregory Lind Gallery is pleased to present Square Spirals, watercolor works on paper by Anne McGuire. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery.
McGuire deftly navigates the disciplines of painting, video, performance, and writing. She is known for her humorous performance videos, such as Joe DiMaggio 1,2,3 (1991) in which she sings to the baseball legend from the safety of her VW Bug as he takes his daily walk through the Marina Green. She is also celebrated for her groundbreaking series of long-form videos (beginning with Strain Andromeda, The, in 1992) in which she reorganizes a complete film, cut by cut, from end to beginning so the action remains forward moving, but the narrative is reversed. McGuire is also a long-time maker of mail art, which inspired her to begin recreating “great works of art” as seen on postage stamps, which explore how meaning and context shift through time and scale.
In these collected works, McGuire offers mercurial, complex, mandala-like mazes and constructions comprising intricate spirals painted onto square grids. To create these, she first draws a grid with pencil on paper in 1/8th- or 1/16th-inch square units. Beginning on the middle of the paper, she uses watercolor to meticulously fill in each individual square and create an uninterrupted line. As the pattern develops from the center, McGuire begins to move more freely around the paper.
In Netherlandish Proverbs, the work echoes Breugel’s work of the same name—a Renaissance oil-on-oak panel painting depicting an intricate scene in which humans, animals, and objects offer literal demonstrations of Dutch proverbs and idioms. In Little Big Square, the spiral pattern is fitted into an unusual, delicate grid of 1/16th-inch squares.
The square spirals are directly informed by McGuire’s film-editing process. The spirals act almost as miniature cinematic timelines, storyboards, and editing sequences, containing both hard cuts and the occasional dissolve as the water and paint from one square bleed into the next. As the eye traverses the scape of each work, viewers are invited to find patterns and discover hidden codes within the intuitive associations of the lines. The effect is similar to how letters become words, and compiled words become a story. In McGuire’s case, the story is sometimes about colors and form; other times, it is about a preexisting idea or image that contains a recognizable reference. The visual movement of the works is also suggestive of a synesthetic chromatic scale that offers us vital information about tone, volume, mood, and ambience.
Anne McGuire was born in Minnesota and lives and works in San Francisco. She received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has exhibited in the San Francisco Bay Area and multiple cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and internationally including Vancouver, London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Zurich, and Tokyo. Most recently, she participated in a group painting exhibition at et al gallery and her video was featured at the David Ireland House, both in San Francisco. She has been featured in SF Arts Quarterly, SF Guardian, Time Out London, Art Slant, and KQED.org Arts blog. McGuire is in the permanent collection of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, and her videos are in numerous art school and university libraries. She is currently working on a radio show for the Untitled Art Fair San Francisco, which premieres in January 2018.