Barry McGee creates vast, unpredictable and improvised organic site specific installations. He incorporates paintings, ceramics, drawings, books, plants, photography, sculptures and found objects into immersive exhibitions that sprout, grow and flow over the walls, floors and ceilings of the exhibition space.
Barry McGee, born 1966, lives and works on the American West Coast in San Francisco. Working in a wide variety of media that includes painting on wood, ceramics, drawing, zines, photography, sculpture and large-scale installation, McGee refuses hierarchies of material or subject matter and treats all formats equally. His artistic style incorporates a multitude of inspirations – American folk art, sign making, Op Art and graffiti. McGee’s work is influenced by and reflects upon contemporary society, especially those that tend to be left behind by it, or choose not to play by its rules. In the recent body of work, the artist pushes his imagery into the iconic; figures and shapes are barely indicated, then repeated and mixed with abstract patterns.
McGee’s has been the subject of solo exhibitions at museums and art institutions worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, USA; Fondazione Prada, Italy; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, USA; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, USA, and Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan. His works are included in many public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco, USA; The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, USA, and The National Gallery of Denmark, SMK, Copenhagen, Denmark.