France-Lise McGurn’s newly commissioned installation draws on her personal experiences of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum; the hours she spent there as a child and then later as an adult, inhabiting but also observing. In particular, Albert Moore’s well-loved painting, Reading Aloud (1884), has provided a point of departure for McGurn: especially the very specific positioning and postures of the models, its textures and ambiguous lack of urgency or context.
McGurn’s figurative practice delivers a wholly immersive experience, launching the viewer into a three-dimensional world of archetypal women and men, often portrayed in a state of undress, reclining in both ecstasy and agony. Sometimes they appear tense and attentive, sometimes languid, bathed in an air of euphoria.
In McGurn’s new work, she builds on themes evident throughout her practice, such as the dichotomies of presence and absence, and interior versus exterior lives. Her fluid application of paint breaks from the canvas, emerging unrestrained across sculptural forms on the museum balcony. The compositional layering of paint onto transparent Perspex panels directly reflects the exposure of private lives and intimacy so frequently at play in McGurn’s work.
This specially commissioned installation is part of the Director's programme for Glasgow International festival of contemporary art, 24 April - 10 May.
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