The Nature Of Your Oppression Is The Aesthetic Of Our Anger
CR is pleased to present the second solo exhibition by Canadian artist Niall McClelland (b. 1980). Among the works included in the exhibition are a new 20x10 foot drawing on linen “Too Poor To Paint, Too Proud To Whitewash,” a large Sharpie abstraction on paper, a wall sculpture and some broken glass. The exhibition title is a nod to Crass (1977-1984) .
Over the last five years Niall McClelland has built up a diverse body of work that mines the veins of arte povera, punk rock and urban minimalism. It is just as often started outdoors, left on a fire escape all winter, baked on a dock all summer or folded into his pockets, nabbed through a 3am hole in a fence, as it is made in the studio in explosive clouds of mercury dust and flying glass. There is certainly an alchemical aspect involved: from the crudest materials comes beauty and elegance, hungover on the surface, left like scars. Texture reigns. And process. Both run through his various series, the Tapestries, Skins and Stains to name a few. Often economic circumstance begats the best results, like the thrown-out toner cartridges scavenged from the back of Dufferin Mall. McClelland leaches out their dregs onto japanese paper where the dying inks blossom into living patterns the way lilies love manure. Same for the drawings made from blown florescent tubes smashed onto linen, same for the rubber carpet underlay that is draped and then spraypainted the way the son of Eva Hesse and Robert Morris might paint. The new Sharpie abstraction, The Home Stretch, is likewise born of CMYK but here McClelland himself becomes the printer, a sputtering officejet of misalignments and smudges that gives out before the job is done.
Niall McClelland grew up in Toronto, spent many of his summers in Northern Ireland, graduated from Emily Carr in Vancouver and eight years later returned to Toronto where he now lives. His work has been published in Dazed; Canadian Art; Adbusters, Design Anarchy, Hunter and Cook, Lowdown, Modern Painters, The Walrus and The White Review among others. Recent exhibitions include Highest Prices Paid For Gold at CR (Toronto); Bruce to Brock and Back at Envoy Enterprises (NYC); History (with Jeremy Jansen) at Tomorrow Gallery (Toronto); One Tune Outta Turn at Eleanor Harwood (San Francisco); Magic For Beginners (group) at PPOW (NYC); Like Minded at Plug-In ICA (Winnipeg).