09/09/2013 10:49 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Barry McGee Has First NYC Show in Nearly a Decade!


(All images courtesy of Barry McGee/Cheim & Read)

San Francisco has got to be proud of Barry McGee. Born and raised in SF, McGee is perhaps one of the most influential artists to come out of the Bay Area, achieving global recognition as one of the world's most successful living artists today.

Beginning Thursday, September 12th Cheim Read will showcase the most recent works of McGee in their Chelsea gallery. This is his first solo show with the gallery (who reps works from artists like Ghada Amer and Reza Farkhondeh and Alice Neel) as well as his first show in NYC in nearly a decade.


Directly involved with the installations of his shows, McGee organizes his multi-layered compositions on-site. For the Cheim & Read exhibition, assembled clusters of framed drawings and hand-painted wood panels accompany loose stacks of embellished surfboards, fetish-like wooden objects, and specially-made furniture. Drawings, paintings and sculptures are treated equally; echoing his anti-establishment sensibility, McGee refuses hierarchies of material or subject matter. His recent work is comprised of flat-surfaced, brightly-colored geometric motifs, serial images and caricatures of cartoon-like characters, and recurring monikers, like the pseudonym "L. Fong," and the acronyms "THR" (The Human Race) and "DFW" (Down for Whatever). Interspersed among the abstract panels (which sometimes expand along bulbous walls and around corners en masse), the images and words provide an enigmatic but individualized narrative in an otherwise vibrating, tile-like field of intense pattern. Visually stimulating, perceptive, and seeming to channel the various rhythmic beats of urban culture, McGee's work addresses issues of identity, mark-making, authorship and autonomy within the bustling, constantly changing tableau of city life.

McGee has shown extensively throughout the world. He has also been the subject of shows at UCLA Hammer, Los Angeles; the Prada Foundation, Milan; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Butler Gallery, Kilkenney Castle, Ireland; and The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo.

Barry McGee
September 12th - October 26th, 2013
Cheim & Read, 547 West 25th Street New York, NY 10001