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Barry McGee

 (born 1966)
Barry (Twist) McGee is active/lives in California.  Barry McGee is known for installation, graffiti art, low-life figure.

Barry McGee

Biography from the Archives of askART

Barry McGee, also known as Twist, was born 1966 in San Francisco, where he currently resides (2004) and has attained cult hero status amongst a "bi-coastal subculture that comprises skaters, graffiti artists, and West Coast surfers." Inspired by street life, graffiti, punk and hard-core music, and the culture of tramps, hobos, and transients, "McGee makes art that evokes traces of human presence."

A "New York Times" review of his summer 2004 exhibition at the Rose Museum in Waltham, Massachusetts had this description by Tessa De Carlo: "It's an expansive, noisy installation that includes a five-foot tower of 49 chattering television sets; kinetic sculptures; clusters of framed drawings and painted bottles featuring Mr. McGee's signature cartoons of grizzled, sad-eyed man; and a smoking Ford Econoline van dropped upside down in a dumpster outside the museum's front door".

His trademark icon, a caricatured male figure with sagging eyes and a bemused expression, recalls the homeless people and transients who call the streets their home. "Compelling art to me is a name carved into a tree," says McGee.

Other exhibitions venues of his work are: The Drawing Center and Deitch Projects in New York, the UCLA/Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern art and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and on streets and trains all over the United States.

In 1991 McGee received a BFA in painting and printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute. His drawings, paintings, and mixed-media installations take their inspiration from contemporary urban culture, incorporating elements such as empty liquor bottles and spray-paint cans, tagged signs, wrenches, and scrap wood or metal. McGee is also a graffiti artist, working on the streets of America's cities since the 1980s.

"The New York Times", July 11, 2004, (Theatre Section)

Biography from Dreweatt Neate, Newbury (Donnington)
His art is most reflected by the poetic balance of playful geometric patterns and color fields with dismal looking characters. An early participant in San Francisco's graffiti art, Barry McGee, also known as Twist, has continued to incorporate the art form's early influence in most of his work.

Even painting directly onto walls in a drip style at many of his gallery shows, McGee does illustrations mostly consisting of figures of men who become easily recognizable due to his unflattering stylistic and graphic portrayal of them.

After his exhibiting at the 2001 Venice Biennale the market value for McGee's work rose considerably and as a result most of his street art has been scavenged.

Biography from Gallery Paule Anglim
Acclaimed for his work in the street as a graffiti artist and for his painted installations in galleries, museums and art festivals around the world, Barry McGee crafts a visual language that makes itself understood.  It is public, addressing social concerns of urban life, and very private, elaborating a unique personal style that focuses on humanity, one painstakingly detailed, fine brush-painted image at a time.

Born 1966 San Francisco, CA

1991 B.F.A., San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA

Solo Exhibitions:
2007  Butler Gallery, The Castle, Kilkenny, Ireland
The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
"Barry McGee: Advanced Mature Work," RedCat, Los Angeles

2006  "The Art of Robert Pimple," Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA
"Do Not Stack" Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, CA
"we have a friend in common" Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Denmark, Copenhagen

2005  "Easy Tonto," Modern Art, London, England
"One More Thing," Deitch Projects, NY
"Things Are Really Getting Better," March Museum Het Domein Sittard, Netherlands

2004  "Barry McGee: The Ruth Ann Perlmutter Artist-in-Residence", Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
Meat Market Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
"Barry McGee," John Kaldor Projects, Sydney, Australia

2002  Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy
Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA
Modern Art Inc., London, England

2000  UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angles, CA
Alleged Galleries, Tokyo, Japan

1999  "The Buddy System," Deitch Projects, New York, NY
"Hoss," Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, TX

1998  "Regards," Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN

1995  K& T Lionheart LTD, Boston, MA

1994  Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena, San Francisco, CA

1992  Maseu Lasar Segall, Sao Paulo, Brasil

Group Exhibitions:
2008  Pacific Light: California Watercolor Refracted 1907-2007, Nordic Watercolor Museum (Nordiska Akvarellmuseet), Skärhamn, Sweden

2007  "Sign Language," Des Moines Center for the Arts, Des Moines, IA
"Four Large Works: Ben Jones, Robert Pimple, Matt Leines, Taylor McKimins" Community Outreach, London, Ontario, Canada
"Silly Adults" Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, Denmark
"Panic Room: Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection" Deste Foundation, Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece
"Mad Love—Young Art from Danish Private Collections" ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark
"Kinky Sex (Makes the World Go 'Round) Lizbeth Oliveria Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
"Pacific Light: California Watercolor Refracted, 1907 - 2007," The International Center for the Arts at San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

2006  "Meditations In An Emergency" Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, MI
"Spank the Monkey" Baltic Mill, Gateshead, United Kingdom
"Beautiful Losers" La Triennale de Milano, Italy
"Beautiful Losers" Le Tri Postal, Lille, France
"Don't Abandon the Ship" Allston Skirt Gallery, Boston, MA

2005  Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, Spain
"Untitled" Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, CA

2004  "Barry McGee, Josh Lazcano & Friends: In the Project Space" Headlands Center for the Arts, Fort Barry-Sausalito, CA
"Color Wheel Oblivion", Marella Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy
"Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture," Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnnati, OH
"Between Art and Life," San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
"Other Artistocrats," Alexander and Bonin, New York, NY
"Barry McGee and Josh Lazcano," Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA

2003  "Ten by Twenty," Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
"Surf Style," 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA
"A Way With Words," John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA
"Outerspace Hillbilly," The Luggage Store, San Francisco, CA
"Scribble & Scripture," Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, CA
"Session the Bowl," Deitch Projects, New York, NY

2002  "Drawing Now: Eight Propositions," Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, England
"The Broken Down Mysterious Doors of the Impossible," Lump Gallery, Raleigh, NC

2001  Venice Biennale, Venice Italy
"Widely Unknown," Deitch Projects, New York, NY
"Holdfast," Barry McGee & Margaret Kilgallen, Deste Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens
"Un Art Populaire," Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris

2000  "Street Market," Deitch Projects, New York, NY
"Street Market," Parco Gallery, Tokyo
"Made in California," Los Angels County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
"Indelible Market," Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA

1999  "Robert Crumb, Phillip Guston, Barry McGee," Paul Morris Gallery, New York, NY

1998  "Art from Around the Bay," San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

1997  "Bay Area Now," Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena, San Francisco, CA
Galerie Tanya Rumpff, Haarlem, Netherlands
"Drawing Today," San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1996  "SECA Art Award," San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
"Wall Drawings," The Drawing Center, New York, NY
"City Folk," Holly Solomon Gallery, New York, NY

1995  "Degenerate Art," The Lab, San Francisco, CA
"Post No Bills," Acme Gallery, San Francisco, CA
"Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA
"Missed Connections," Market Street Annex Installation, Luggage Store, San Francisco, CA
New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA
"Big Jesus Trashcan," Victoria Room, San Francisco, CA

1993  "Twelve Bay Area Painters: The Eureka Fellowship Winners," San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA

Selected  Awards:
1999 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant
1998 Creative Work Fund Project-Luggage Store Gallery
1996 SECA Art Award, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
1994 Lila Wallace Readers Digest Travel Grant

Selected Bibliography:
2003  Westbrook, Lindsay, " Outerspace Hillbilly at Luggage Store Gallery," Artweek, July/August 2003
Cotter, Holland, "Session the Bowl," New York Times, January 10, 2003

2002  Hamlin, Jesse, "Artists Stays Street Savy," San Francisco Chronicle, May 2, 2002

2002  "Barry McGee," The Art Newspaper, May 2002
Heartney, Eleanor, "Speaking for Themselves," Art in America, March 2002
Carson, Andrea, " Barry McGee: Fondazione Prada," Contemporary, 2002
Meneguzzo, Marco, " Barry McGee, Fondazione Prada," ArtForum, December 2002
Cash, Stephanie, "Report from San Francisco: Surviving and Thriving," Art in America, November 2002

1999  Blake, Nayland, " Barry McGee," Interview Magazine, February 1999

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About  Barry McGee

Born:  1966 - San Francisco, California
Known for:  installation, graffiti art, low-life figure