The Palm Beach Story, or What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Gavlak Gallery is pleased to present McDermott & McGough and Jack Pierson's first exhibition together, titled The Palm Beach Beach Story, or Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. This is also the first exhibition to present the artists' paintings, photographs and text works that demonstrate their shared interest in the style, pleasures and not-so-thinly veiled perversions of what resembles fabled Palm Beach vis-à-vis the twisted narratives of old Hollywood glamour.
McDermott & McGough's paintings of starlets from scenes by filmmakers like Preston Sturges are juxtaposed with Pierson's iconic text pieces of repurposed vintage sign letters, such as "My Sin," to create a narrative of desire, fantasy and even homage to a bygone era. Pierson's glittering photographs of Florida palm trees and McDermott & McGough's painting of the final still from Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life, in which "The End" hovers over a pile of falling diamonds, speaks not only to the seductive and high camp sensibilities of all three artists but to the perfect context of the artists work: the entire mis-en-scene of Palm Beach itself.
McDermott & McGough's work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions at such galleries and institutions as Cheim & Read, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Pat Hearn Gallery, Massimo Audiello Gallery, Galleria Gian Enzo Sperone, Sperone Westwater, Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Whitney Museum of American Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Centre Pompidou, Kunsthalle Wien, Manezh Moscow and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Previous exhibitions also include the Whitney Biennial, New York, in 1987, 1991 and 1995. McDermott & McGough mounted a mid-career retrospective at the Provincial Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Oostende, Belgium.
Jack Pierson's work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including El Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga, Spain; The Irish Museum of Art, Dublin, Ireland; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, Florida and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois. Extensive monographs and publications have been published about the work including Desire Despair, Angel Youth and Jack Pierson. His works are in the permanent collections of The Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.