Mark McGreevy: A Gap In The Bright 6 Dec 2007 - 26 Jan 2008
MCAC is delighted to host ‘A Gap in the Bright’, presenting new work by young Northern Irish artist Mark McGreevy. ‘A Gap in the Bright’ is the first project in Beneath the Painted Surface, a series of three exhibitions that investigate the liminal (i.e. thresholds, boundaries and borderlines) and subliminal elements in the medium of painting and curated by Megan Johnston. Three Northern Irish contemporary artists have been selected because their practice engages with these issues. Through these exhibitions, MCAC aims to provoke contemplation, dialogue and debate about the formal readings of the painted surface — colour, line, perspective and narrative. We will also engage with the artist to incite deeper examination of painting in historical, modern and post-modern eras.
McGreevy will undertake a creative investigation into the surface image through his process of painting, which contains real, imagined and abstracted energetic compositions combined with images from a collective conscious to the personal. McGreevy’s work is heavily influenced by images from computer games, science fiction and popular culture. Some of the work is built upon the structure of order and its demise; other work only hints at a structured composition. The use of colour and layering techniques make these paintings take on a life of their own outside the canvases on which they are painted.
According to Patrick Murphy in his essay for this catalogue, McGreevy’s paintings appear to have ‘no volume control … they blast their presence at us, intimidating us with the scale, colour and swirling content’. There is a disarming juxtaposition in McGreevy’s work with organic patterning exploding on the canvas while the subject matter is somewhat representational yet very surreal. While McGreevy’s inspiration is influenced by images from computer games, science fiction and popular culture, Murphy calls the subject matter ‘forms [that] are in a biological blender, a nightmarish evolution into something we have not imagined’. In the subliminal sense there are autonomous, free-floating motifs meandering in and out of existence. Murphy writes that McGreevy is going visceral. He is and his work is founded in the sub-consciousness of intuition, instinctive, primitive and primeval gestures and thoughts.
There are not many opportunities for artists to have a visual or verbal ‘white box’ into which they can create. MCAC prides itself on the ability to encourage the idea of offering artists the freedom to push the boundaries of their own practice. MCAC has long been interested in the creation of new bodies of work that engages with the gallery space, embracing the large open vastness of Gallery 1. Our Beneath the Painted Surface series encourages selected artists to do so and McGreevy’s spectacular new paintings certainly permeate the gallery space.
This project has been made possible with Lottery funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, who continue to support the commissioning of new work and supporting high-quality art by Northern artists. MCAC and the artists are indebted to their support. Additionally, the Craigavon Borough Council also supported the project through partnership funding.