The atmospheric practice of France Lise McGurn (b. 1983, Glasgow, UK) 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 At times, they appear bare and exposed huddled in tense tableaux, seemingly withdrawn in defence.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.