Tibor de Nagy is pleased to present “Scavenge” a one-person exhibition by Medrie MacPhee that will inaugurate the new location of the gallery at 11/15 Rivington St.
This body of work presents a significant shift for MacPhee who is known for her use of architecture and architectural forms to create narratives around the ideas of a dystopian future/past.
In 2012, MacPhee began a fake fashion line (RELAX) out of cheap discount clothing. The premise was total comfort in a fraught time. Sweat suits were cut up and reassembled into one piece outfits with multiple zippers, buttons, notions, other fabrics, decorated hoodies. A recent piece of hers - “The Precariats” - is included in a group exhibition “99 Cents or Less” curated by Jens Hoffman at MOCAD Detroit from May 19 to August 6, 2017.
Gradually what had been a “fashion” sideline began finding its way into the paintings. Sometimes the clothing fabric is a detail in a larger painting and other times it covers the entire surface.
MacPhee sees the notion of scavenging as an existential premise especially suited to the demands of the moment.
Although the paintings are non-depictive, the identifiable “real” things (zippers, buttons, notions and clothing) in combination with the painted surfaces have created something fresh and elusive. The painted structures, collaged elements and large flat acrylic transfers relate to the architecture of language. What we experience as the pauses and gaps, the presence and absence, and the subterranean feeling and instinct that lie under words is equally manifest in the visual realm.
Medrie MacPhee was born in Canada and moved to New York in 1976. MacPhee’s numerous awards include an Anonymous Was a Woman award (2016), an American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize (2015), a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts (2009), New York Foundation For The Arts (1998), and a Canada Council Established Artist Grant (2004). Her work is in various public collections including the Metropolitan Museum, The National Gallery of Canada, The Asheville Museum, The Palmer Museum of Art, The Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. MacPhee is an artist-in-residence at Bard College.