David Krut Projects is pleased to announce Dialogue, London-based artist, Whitney McVeigh’s first solo exhibition in New York. Presenting a select survey of works on paper made over the last ten years, this exhibition examines McVeigh’s inexhaustible experimentation with drawing stripped down to its essentials: black ink on paper.
Through the use of black ink—a material capable of creating or obliterating form—McVeigh’s work operates inside and outside of representation. Vibrating between abstraction and figuration, her use of ink on paper explores the emotive, psychological mark. These marks often take on a figurative familiarity, yet the unique qualities of McVeigh’s forms make them feel strangely foreign; they are indeed, shapes without a name.
McVeigh’s studio practice embraces a combination of both chance and intention. The large-scale ink drawings featured in this exhibition highlight McVeigh’s intuitive application of ink, followed by her conscious response to how the ink absorbs into paper. Expanding upon this use of automatic marks, McVeigh’s recent drawings begin by applying water first to the paper’s surface and then adding ink, activating the physical properties of absorption and evaporation to determine the quality of the final mark. Driven by elements of surprise, McVeigh’s work enters a conversation about control: the control of the unruly ink’s movement and the complete relinquishment of control. These drawings become records of this physical and intuitive dialogue between McVeigh and her materials.
McVeigh’s recent monotypes, made in collaboration with printer Jillian Ross at David Krut Workshop in Johannesburg (March 2011), demonstrate her underlying interest in the embedded histories of mark-making. While in South Africa, McVeigh visited the Cradle of Humankind in Magaliesberg, where some of the earliest hominid fossils were originally discovered, some dating human history back millions of years. Deeply influenced by the preserved human presence in mark-making, McVeigh’s monotype series capture this legacy of human expression, combining the stylistic mark of cave painting with the spontaneous application of black ink. Paying homage to these early traces of the creative impulse, McVeigh’s works on paper and recent monotypes synthesize the improvisational mark with ancestral origins of drawing.
Born in New York in 1968, Whitney McVeigh studied painting at Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland. McVeigh spent many years abroad, participating in residencies such as Center for the Arts in Trivandrum, India; NY Arts in Beijing, China, and Centro de las Artes in San Augustin, Mexico. McVeigh exhibited at London's A Foundation (2009), a solo show curated by Sotiris Kyriacou. More recently McVeigh was an artist in residence at the Nirox Foundation in South Africa (Nov/Oct 2011) and David Krut Projects, Johannesburg (March, 2011).