What are the links between architecture, spatial control, and ideology? Do our needs and desires determine architectural forms, or is it the other way around? How can contemporary art address this uneasy relationship? To learn more about these and other questions, please visit the exhibition Fragments from an Enclosure by Irish artist Conor McGrady at the University of Akron’s Emily Davis Gallery.
McGrady’s works in gouache examine architectonic hybrids, where the modernist vision of architecture as the embodiment of social progress is merged with that of the fortification or military bunker. In large-scale works, groups of anonymous men lounge in a mountain retreat or walk purposefully towards a remote modernist building. While ambiguous and conveying a mysterious sense of narrative, these works are an attempt to explore the complex relationship between ideology, collective behavior and sociological control. All of the drawings are unified through a sense of disquiet, the geographic remoteness and formal isolation of their subjects raising questions on the nature of the enclosure, be it physical or ideological.
Conor McGrady has exhibited internationally, with one-person exhibitions in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and Zagreb. Group exhibitions include the 2002 Whitney Biennial in New York, The Jerusalem Show VII: Fractures (Qalandiya International Biennial), D-0 Ark Underground Biennale of Contemporary Art, Sarajevo-Konjic, and IK-00 Spaces of Confinement in Venice. Editor of Radical History Review’s Curated Spaces, he published in The Brooklyn Rail, Ruminations on Violence (Waveland Press, 2007) State of Emergence (Plottner Verlag, 2011) and State in Time (Društvo NSK Informativni Center, Ljubljana, 2012). He received an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA Honors from the University of Northumbria, Newcastle, UK. As Dean of Academic Affairs at Burren College of Art, he currently divides his time between the Burren, Ireland and New York City.
Conor McGrady’s exhibition is organized in conjunction with his Myers Artist Residency at The University of Akron. The Mary Schiller Myers Residency program brings internationally and nationally recognized artists from an array of disciplines to work closely with art and design majors.
Emily Davis Gallery hours:
Monday – Thursday 10:00 am – 6 pm
Friday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Emily Davis Gallery, Myers School of Art, Folk Hall, The University of Akron, 150 E. Exchange St.