Things Are Getting Better a new installation by San Francisco based
artist Barry McGee, will be on view at Rice Gallery from September 16
through October 24, 1999. Movement, gesture, and a wry sense of humor
characterize the environment McGee has constructed: gallery walls painted
an intense simmering red are saturated with an astonishing array of images.
McGee, whose alter ego is the street painter Twist, juxtaposes the
attitude and gesture of graffiti with finely-detailed images of urban life.
A festive and offbeat reception will mark the opening of the installation
on September 16 from 5:30 until 7:30 PM. Barry McGee will make brief
remarks about this work at 6:00 p.m., followed by two numbers by urban
dance troupe Fly in the gallery lobby at 6:30 p.m. Complimentary wine and
hand-crafted ales courtesy of the Bank Draft Brewing Company will be served.
Entering the gallery, viewers will be struck by a flood of images that
incorporate an array of styles ranging from action-based street tags, or
signatures, to large cartoon-like figures and intricately detailed framed
drawings rendered on sheet music, brown bags and scraps of paper. Even
empty bottles become surfaces for McGee's repertoire of portraits
including barrel-headed sad-sacks, the kid in the baseball cap,
and the onion-face. McGee's eye for the overlooked gives him the power to
transform these cast-off materials into objects that demand
close-examination. The aim, says McGee, is to record a slice of what's
going on at a given moment * happy, sad, and all the other stuff in just
getting through life. Drawn in first by the visual wallop of McGee's
work, it is the artist's evident concern for this reality that invites us
to reexamine our own regard for the energy and concerns of the street.
About the Artist
Barry McGee was born in 1966 in San Francisco into a multi-racial family
where everyone drew. In the mid-1980s he took his drawings into the
streets using the tag, Twist. He received a B.F.A. in painting and
printmaking in 1991 from the San Francisco Art Institute. McGee has
exhibited at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; the Museo
Lesar Segall, San Paulo; the Drawing Center, New York; the Walker Art
Center, Minneapolis; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This is
his first exhibition in the Southwest.
Things Are Getting Better will be accompanied by an illustrated exhibition
catalogue with an essay by Susie Kalil, noted Houston-based arts writer and
Glassell School of Art Core Fellow in Writing.
Access the Rice University Art Gallery on line at www.rice.edu/ruag.
Located in Houston's Museum District on the Rice University campus, the
Rice Art Gallery presents site specific installations by artists of
national and international reputation.
To reach the gallery, enter the university through Campus Entrance 1 at the
corner of Main Street and Sunset Boulevard. Proceed two hundred yards,
turn left at the grassy common area and proceed into Visitor Parking. The
gallery is on the ground floor of the building located to the right, Sewall
Rice Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM,
Thursday until 8:00 PM, and Sunday noon to 5:00 PM. The Gallery is closed
Mondays and university holidays.
Admission is free.
For additional gallery information please call (713) 527-6069.
Accessible to Disabled. Wheelchair access on south side of Sewall Hall.
The Rice University Art Gallery is supported in part by Rice Gallery
Patrons, Rice Gallery Members, the Brown Foundation Inc., the Kilgore
Endowment, and by a grant from the City of Houston and Texas Commission on
the Arts through the Cultural Arts Council.
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