France-Lise McGurn, Earth Girls Are Easy (2019) Photo: Ben Westoby. Courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery

France-Lise McGurn
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG
24 Apr — 10 May 2020
Fri 24 April 2020 – Sun 25 April 2021 Mon – Thu & Sat, 10 am – 5 pm Fri & Sun, 11 am – 5 pm
This exhibition was due to take place during Glasgow International 2020, 23 April – 10 May, which has been postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis. The festival will be re-staged in 2021 with dates to be announced.

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.  

Supported by The Henry Moore Foundation

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