The Realm of the Mothers in Goethe’s Faustus could be interpreted as being the realm of the dark ‘materia prima’ from which all things are born – the womb of creation.
This is also outlined in greater detail throughout James Gleick’s book Chaos Theory (1987), a text that has had increasing impact on McKeown’s most current body of work. James Gleick describes the essence of chaos: a delicate balance between forces of stability and forces of instability.
Central to the construction of the paintings is the use of the process of ‘decalcomania’ to create so-called dendritic fractal patterns; a technique primarily associated with the surrealist Max Ernst whereby two paint surfaces are pressed together. By enacting the process of decalcomania on the portraits there is a subversion of their Apollonian order – creating an opening or a site for the Dionysian nature to emerge – the portraits can be seen as fierce, ´carnivalesque´ totems of the natural order – disrupting the idea of political, social, intellectual power. The dendritic fractal pattern is the geometry of fluid nature (Chaos) – the portraits are overruled by the nature of the material and forces which are beyond our control. These are portraits transgressing themselves, they become elemental goddesses.
Michelle McKeown is also influenced by De Kooning’s paintings of women of the 1940’s – where the membrane between the women and the world breaks down – they are as much in the landscape as the landscape is in them. Pollock’s drip paintings in a way are influential in that he allows the forces outside the frame to enter into the work.
Michelle McKeown was born in Northern Ireland and studied at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin 1998 - 2001 and the Royal College of Art 2005 -2007. Awards include the Basil H Alkazzi Scholarship 2005-2007 and Artist-in-Residence Award from 2007-2008 at Loughborough University School of Art & Design. Solo Exhibitions include ´Michelle McKeown in Storage´, Project Space at The Agency Gallery, London, 2008, and ´Strange Attractor´, Loughborough University Gallery, 2008, Selected group exhibitions include ´I Have No Use for Truth´, 38B Peckham Rye, London, 2011, ´The Drowning World´, Airspace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, 2010, ´Rhizomatic´, Departure Gallery, London 2010, ´L´Apres Moderne´ Projet Midi, Brussels, 2008, John Moores 25 Painting Prize, The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 2008.
Michelle McKeown lives and works in London.
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Exposities (komt nu voorbij)
De volgende instellingen bieden werk aan en organiseren exposities:
Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdam