Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Virtuous tautology

 Medrie MacPhee, Big Bang, (Oil on canvas, 64 x 84 inches, 2010).

From Art critical Medrie MacPhee's What It Is, at Von Lintel Gallery.

Christina Kee aptly writes:
MacPhee seems insistent questioning just what is being looked at in these pictures? The response is rich in adjectives and short on nouns. The seemingly discrete parts that make up these works have clear and specific characteristics –hard, transparent, soft, columnar, etc.– and yet remain unidentifiable as any known object outside their painted world. As viewers we have the distinct sense of looking at real, raw materials in a pre-named state. Surveying these paintings recalls the tasks of early philosophy, laboriously weighing questions of attribute against those of essence [...] The world presented by the artist is one keenly, even threateningly, felt –if not necessarily comprehended.
I've followed MacPhee's work for some time and it seems to me that her art is clearly commenting the State of our society. A state of circular accumulation of detritus.

How about MacPhee's art introducing a virtuous tautology? Let's imagine a conversation between a failed epoch and the artist:

The epoch presents itself as "curious."
What is it? -the epoch (oddly) inquires.
What It Is! -replies the artist (turned metaphysician).

 Medrie MacPhee, Float (Oil on canvas, 60 x 78 inches, 2009).