Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Sunday May 28, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Charles McGee at Eighty-Five



portraits painted in the 1950s to huge enamel paintings done this year. It seems a fitting epigraph to his work, since most of the pieces explode in violent zigzags of paint and operate on some level of abstraction--an exercise in choosing what to see.

McGee's most recognizable works are the frenzied paintings and collages he's been making since the 1980s. Although the paintings are highly abstract, with huge snakelike squiggles and a palette that alternates dizzyingly between neutral colors and electric primaries, the busy splashes often dance around human figures. The people in these paintings are abstract as well, usually just stark silhouettes with large heads and skinny limbs. Their pointy-fingered hands and sharp elbows, arranged hieroglyphically, suggest urgency, but it's hard to tell whether they're dancing or running. Their faces are generally blank, but some have wild eyes and huge, toothy grins that look far more manic than happy.

Several depict Noah's Ark, but without the usual calm brown boat and sunny panorama of zoo animals. Instead, human limbs tangle with snakes and squiggles. Black and white jumbles with splotches of brightly colored enamel float in space. In one piece, a purple-spotted giraffe is the only recognizable non-snake animal. Although a couple paintings have "celebration" in the title, they seem more ecstatic than joyful. The flood of abstraction strands any sense of security, upturning the biblical story and clouding easy explanations. Some are cut out of metal, 2-D sculptures that discard even the refuge of rectangular borders.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Boards and Commissions
Restaurants with prices $20-$30
A clickable zoomable map
Police Today, Gone Tomorrow
"Almost half the department can leave in the next five years."
James Leonard
Community Services - Jobs, Training and Finances
Music: Pop, Rock, Jazz, Blues, & Traditional
Groups for Seniors
Nightspots: Elks Lodge
Galeet Dardashti & Divahn
An aural homage
Sandor Slomovits
Make America Great Again, by Tim Athan
Bars And Grills in Chelsea
Grieve Well Kite Festival June 17th 2017
Victors for art at the university of Michigan Museum of art
Grillin' 2017 June 11th, 3-8pm - Ann Arbor MI