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On Wednesday November 23rd, the new exhibit, Wandering Coma by photographer Ryan McGinley, opened at Alison Jacques Gallery in London. Wandering Coma exhibits seven images presented in the largest format the artist has ever worked with. Each photograph was printed in a variety of sizes to fit the dimensions McGinley felt communicated most effectively to the viewer.

My photographs are about removal: bringing people to nondescript locations, to places that aren’t recognizable, removing their clothes, capturing them with a very limited style palette. I try to think about how timelessness, isolation, and style interact.

– Ryan McGinley, Artforum, September 2010

Over the years McGinley’s work has evolved from a verité snapshot style, toward creating settings where the situations are choreographed. His process of staging and lightly directing ‘happenings’, often located in rural landscapes, evoke a more cinematic effect. McGinley’s method involves a careful balance of the planned and the unpredictable, the intentional and the spontaneous. The artist initiates the location and activity, and then allows the subjects to position themselves naturally or behave on their own initiative. This choreographed sense of free-spirited activity alludes to the exhibition’s title, which is said to refer to a kind of fluttering butterfly.

Subjects in McGinley’s images have shifted from documenting his own close friends to models he meets on the streets, at concerts or on the internet. In addition to capturing spontaneous, dream-like panoramas, McGinley’s applies a variety of effects to his imagery such as colour variations to the sky or water landscapes.

The taking of the photograph is only the beginning of McGinley’s artistic process, as his chromatic interventions and manipulations of scale are central to the emotional and spiritual landscapes evoked by each image.

The seven photograph exhibit is the artist’s first exhibition in London since his “Moonmilk’ series in 2009. Commercially, McGinley has produced imagery for the Levi’s “Go Forth” advertising campaign, which has led to an accusation of copyright infringement by artist, Janine Gordon. The argument stems back nearly 10 years ago when both artists had exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Gordon who was exhibiting in the 2002 Whitney Biennial argued that McGinley had access to examine her images while he was preparing for his break-through solo exhibition, “The Kids Are Alright,” the following year.

McGinley has offered a very modest settlement, which Gordon has rejected, stating she has no plans to drop her lawsuit. The case continues under appeal. McGinley currently lives and works in New York City.

Dates & Opening Times

Ryan McGinley: Wandering Coma is on until December 22, 2011.

The gallery is open Tuesday- Saturday 10-6pm. The Gallery is closed on Mondays.

ALISON JACQUES GALLERY 16-18 Berners Street London, W1T 3LN

44 (0)20 7631 4720 info@alisonjacquesgallery.com www.alisonjacquesgallery.com


Article by Daria McWilliams for XXXX Magazine

Event photos & coverage by XXXX Magazine