Tar Pit: Barry McGee @ Eighteen Gallery, Copenhagen
Spring, traditionally seen as the season of new beginnings is feeling especially energizing this year. With social life slowly getting back to what we're remembering it to be, we're seeing fun gallery openings resurrecting, among other things. And one of such events is about to take place at our friends over at Eighteen in Copenhagen. With an opening reception set for Friday, June 11th, and the exhibition period being June 12th until July 8th, V1's sister space will present Tar Pit, Barry McGee's 2nd exhibition with the gallery, and his 5th major presentation in the Danish capital.
We've actually been to the opening of his last show in Copenhagen back in 2018, so we know what these events tend to evolve into. Just as every individual piece by the celebrated SF-based artist reveals his unpredictable and improvised organic creative process, his show installs and opening evening dynamics are the same thing, just on a bigger scale. From intricate patterns, over impulsive spraypaint marks, diligently rendered characters, and/or the other surprising combination of other elements inspired by American folk art, sign making, Op Art, and/or graffiti, the works tend to sprout and grow into any given direction. Often overcoming existing imperfections and interruptions in their path both the individual segments, and the completed works tend to act in a similar manner when exhibited together in a group. So, seeing the invite email stating "the artist and his entourage will be present", we can picture the artist and his troop of friends scattering around the gallery, working around the clock to assemble that Mcgee magic.
And indeed, the install images we just received from Copenhagen are showing how the team turned the otherwise plain white cube venue into another explosion of patterns, marks, forms, and objects. With paintings, ceramics, drawings, books, plants, photography, sculptures, and found objects forming pillars, totems, and allegories for contemporary rituals, Tar Pit is the exhibition that captures the spirit of Spring 2021. Or at least the untamed version of it. —Sasha Bogojev
Installation photos by Jan Søndergaard