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“Throughout his career\,” writes Alex Baker in the exhibition catalog\, “Barry McGee has continued to surprise and contradict expectations.” Includ ing rarely seen early etchings\, letterpress printing trays and alcohol bot tles painted with his trademark cast of down-and-out urban characters\, con stellations of vibrant op-art painted panels\, animatronic taggers\, and an elaborate re-creation of a cacophonous street-corner bodega\, along with m any new projects\, this first midcareer survey of the globally influential San Francisco–based artist showcases the astonishing range of McGee’s compa ssionate and vivacious work.

McGee\, who trained professionally in painting and printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute\, began sharing his work in the 1980s\, not in a museum or gallery setting but on the streets of San Francisco\, where he developed his skills as a graffiti artist\, often using the tag name “Twist .” McGee’s use of this and other monikers—such as Ray and Lydia Fong—as wel l as his frequent collaborations can make it difficult to precisely situate the artist’s unique authorship. Using a visual vocabulary drawn from graff iti\, comics\, hobo art\, and sign painting\, McGee celebrates his Mission District neighborhood while at the same time calling attention to the harmf ul effects of capitalism\, gentrification\, and corporate control of public space. His often-humorous painting\, drawings\, and prints—all wrought wit h extraordinary skill—push the boundaries of art: his work can be shockingl y informal in the gallery and surprisingly elegant on the street.

McGee has long viewed the city it self as a living space for art and activism\, but his more recent work has brought the urban condition into the space of the gallery. Increasingly\, h is installation environments express the anarchic vitality of the inner-cit y street\, incorporating overturned cars and trucks\, and often spill beyon d the frame of the gallery or museum. For McGee\, writes Baker\, “the creat ion of chaos is a political act.”

McGee is currently artist-in-residence as he prepares for this g roundbreaking exhibition\, which will tour to the ICA Boston next spring. < /span>

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Thanks to support from members like you\, we met our $10\,000 challenge grant from the East Bay Fund for Artists at the East Bay Community Foundation. We are grat eful for your generous donations in support of this exhibition.

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Barry McGee is organized by Director Lawrence Rinder\, with Assistant Curato r Dena Beard. Barry McGee is made possible by lead support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and presenting sponsor Citizens of Humanity. Major support is provided by the National Endowment for the Ar ts\, Ratio 3\, Cheim and Read\, the East Bay Fund for Artists at the East B ay Community Foundation\, The Robert Lehman Foundation\, Prism\, Stuart Sha ve/Modern Art\, and Cinelli. Additional support is provided by Rena Branste n\, Gallery Paule Anglim\, Jeffrey Fraenkel and Frish Brandt\, Suzanne Geis s\, Nion McEvoy\, and the BAM/PFA Trustees.

Special thanks to Citizens of Humanity for their addit ional support of BAM/PFA's grade-school art experience programs.

DTEND:20121209 DTSTAMP:20140820T233522 DTSTART:20120824 GEO:37.8681831;-122.2562092 LOCATION:Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive\,2625 Durant Avenue #2250 \nBerkeley\, CA 94720-2250 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:BARRY MCGEE\, Barry McGee UID:220206 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20120824T170000 DTSTAMP:20140820T233522 DTSTART:20120824T110000 GEO:37.8681831;-122.2562092 LOCATION:Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive\,2625 Durant Avenue #2250 \nBerkeley\, CA 94720-2250 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:BARRY MCGEE\, Barry McGee UID:220207 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR