The atmospheric practice of France-Lise McGurn transports the viewer from the public realm of a museum or gallery and into the most personal quarters of the artist’s life: her studio, her bedroom, her mind and musings. McGurn’s figurative practice delivers a wholly immersive experience, launching the viewer into a three dimensional world of the intimate and relatable.
The figures that occupy McGurn’s world belong to her imagination. These archetypal women and men, often portrayed in a state of undress, whether in groups, in pairs or alone, recline in both ecstasy and agony. At times, they appear bare and exposed huddled in tense tableaux, seemingly withdrawn in defence. Elsewhere, McGurn’s characters are languid, bathed in air of euphoria.
Fluidity distinguishes McGurn’s practice. Her capricious compositions, as in Sleepless, her 2019 solo exhibition at the Tate Britain, are in their form and liberty of expression, unrestrained; while her application of paint transcends the canvas, bleeding onto the gallery walls and spilling across the floor. For McGurn, humanity in all its excitement, intimacy, poignancy, boredom and disappointment is worth uncovering.
Mira Dancy, France-Lise McGurn & Clare Woods
Simon Lee Gallery, New York, is pleased to announce a group exhibition featuring new works by Mira Dancy, France-Lise McGurn, and Clare Woods. Connected through an interest in figurative representation, the exhibition brings together three artists who present the body in unconventional ways, each exploring contemporary issues surrounding gender, sexuality, society and politics, as well as addressing the long and problematic history of the male gaze. The submissive female subject typically depicted reclining, seated or kneeling, is one of the most recognizable motifs in art history. As seen in this exhibition, Dancy, McGurn, and Woods respond to this convention through disparate methods presenting the figure as alternatively dominant, vulnerable, playful, or even androgynous, restoring to their subjects a sense of agency and recontextualizing the trope for our contemporary moment.
France-Lise McGurn: Percussia
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to announce Percussia a solo exhibition of new work by Glasgow-based artist France-Lise McGurn. This is the artist’s debut exhibition with the gallery and the first in London since Sleepless, her 2019 solo exhibition at Tate Britain. The artist will present new paintings, works on paper and site-specific wall paintings across both gallery floors. The exhibition coincides with a major site-specific commission by the artist on view at Tramway in Glasgow. Subsequently, McGurn will also be participating in Glasgow International in April.
France-Lise McGurn in Conversation with Katy Hessel
To coincide with Simon Lee Gallery London's exhibition France-Lise McGurn: Percussia, there will be an artist talk at the gallery: France-Lise McGurn in Conversation with Katy Hessel, Curator, Art Historian, @thegreatwomenartists.
France-Lise McGurn: Bodytronic
Kunsthaus Pasquart, Biel, Switzerland, 19 September - 22 November 2020
France-Lise McGurn: Aloud
France-Lise McGurn’s newly commissioned installation draws on her personal experiences of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum; the hours she spent there as a child and then later as an adult, inhabiting but also observing. In particular, Albert Moore’s well-loved painting, Reading Aloud (1884), has provided a point of departure for McGurn: especially the very specific positioning and postures of the models, its textures and ambiguous lack of urgency or context.
Drawing Biennial 2021
Featuring new and recent works on paper by leading international artists, the Biennial showcases every imaginable technique and represents artists from a range of generations, backgrounds, and heritages.
France-Lise McGurn on Tamara de Lempicka
Glasgow-based artist France-Lise McGurn is the latest guest on DRAF Broadcasts: Podcast, talking about Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka’s drawing Sur La Plage, made circa 1926 when de Lempicka lived in Paris and was a prominent member of the art scene between the two world wars. This work from the David Roberts Collection becomes the basis for a conversation that touches on the female nude, Madonna videos and cigarette packets.
The multiple sources which McGurn refers to in the initial stages of her work most recently include films of the 70s and 80s, fashion illustration, advertising, pop stars and glamour photography. The generic features of the figures, accentuated by their repetition across the wall paintings, conveys a sense of intimacy or familiarity open to multiple readings. She also is inspired by people she encounters, studying their movements, mannerisms and hand gestures.
France-Lise McGurn in Conversation with Katy Hessel
To coincide with Simon Lee Gallery London's exhibition France-Lise McGurn: Percussia, there will be an artist talk at the gallery: France-Lise McGurn in Conversation with Katy Hessel, Curator, Art Historian, @thegreatwomenartists
The talk will take place Saturday 25th January, 12 PM, Simon Lee Gallery, London
Please note this event is free to the public, but booking is required: firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: France-Lise McGurn, Fish, 2019
France-Lise McGurn: In Emotia
France-Lise McGurn (born 1983) is a Glasgow-based artist who predominantly works with painting to create layered installations that incorporate the gallery walls, floors and ceilings.
"In Emotia" is a derivative term which suggests a state of being, simultaneously emotional and in motion. Mcgurn’s figurative painting and wall drawings evoke bodies and limbs overlapping and interacting in ambivalent spaces, at parties, in night clubs, on streets or lying in bed either side of paper thin walls. Cities and bodies, are constantly moving and shaping each other, a sentiment which McGurn evokes through the shifting forms and gestures of her metropolitan figures. Often the works themselves overlap from canvas to wall to floor, creating energetic compositions which suggest intimacy, ecstasy, sexuality, violence and loss.
For more information, please click here.
Image: France-Lise McGurn, Easy Emotia, 2019
Photo credit: Courtesy of the artist