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Alison Jacques Gallery: RYAN MCGINLEY - MOONMILK - 11 Sept 2009 to 8 Oct 2009

Current Exhibition


11 Sept 2009 to 8 Oct 2009
Hours : tuesday - saturday, 10 - 6
Alison Jacques Gallery
16 - 18 BERNERS STREET
W1T 3LN
London
United Kingdom
Europe
p: +44 (0) 20 7631 4720
m:
f: +44 (0) 20 7631 4750
w: www.alisonjacquesgallery.com











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Artists in this exhibition: RYAN MCGINLEY


RYAN MCGINLEY
MOONMILK

11 SEPTEMBER – 8 OCTOBER 2009
PRIVATE VIEW: THURSDAY 10 SEPTEMBER, 6-8 PM

Alison Jacques Gallery announces the first UK solo show of acclaimed American artist Ryan McGinley with an exhibition of 24 new colour photographs shot in caves across North America. Over the last year, McGinley and his crew explored huge caves underground, venturing into unknown territory, seeking out spectacular natural spaces, some previously undocumented. The title of the show “Moonmilk” alludes to the crystalline deposits found on the walls of many caves; it was once believed that this substance was formed by light from celestial bodies passing through rock into darkened worlds below. A book of McGinley’s new photographs will be published by Morel books to coincide with the opening of the London show on September 10.

McGinley describes his work as a journey, and his photographs form a “travel log” which captures his experiences across the American landscape. This particular adventure pushed his troop to new levels of bravery, testing the participants’ fortitude and endurance in hazardous conditions. McGinley says “there is something prehistoric about a cave that makes one feel comfort and impending doom all in one breath. The air is often thick with dust, humidity and the smell of minerals while the ground is slick clay, or rubble that fell from the ceiling. It is slow going when burdened by the excessive amount of lighting options needed to pull off an 8-hour shoot. Most caves are no more than 50 degrees inside while some house ice that stays intact all year round making it a challenge to endure the long exposures and precarious set ups necessary to shoot with such limited light.”

McGinley’s goal is to explore, experiment, take risks and produce a picture that is different. He works thoroughly, deeply, and obsessively. He is curious and open, while remaining interested in very specific things. These new cave photographs demand that viewers accustomed to his previous work throw away everything they might have thought about McGinley — gone is the snapshot kid.

Some of the inspiration for this work came from childhood adventure stories such as Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. McGinley also took cues from the illustrations to be found in children’s books and even in the Bible stories his mother read to him as a child, such as the story of Jonah and the Whale.

McGinley rejected working in commercial caves, focusing instead on what are commonly referred to as “Wild Caves.” Some of the terminology applied to explorers and other kinds of pioneers can be applied to McGinley and his work process: trailblazer, pathfinder, seeker, searcher, frontiersman, surveyor. For the cave photographs, McGinley plunged himself, his models, and his crew into an awesome and impenetrable blackness and brought back evidence from the hidden realm; pictures from inside the earth.

Ryan McGinley (born in Ramsey, New Jersey, 1977) lives and works in New York. Solo museum shows include FOAM Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam (2007); Kunsthalle Vienna (2006); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (2005); P.S. 1, New York (2004). In 2003, at the age of 24, McGinley was the youngest ever artist to have a monographic exhibition at the Whitney Museum. Public collections include: Whitney Museum; Guggenheim Museum; SFMoMA, San Francisco; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Ellipse Foundation, Portugal.


NEXT:
ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE: A SEASON IN HELL, OPENING: TUESDAY 13 OCTOBER, 6-8 PM
PERFORMANCE BY PATTI SMITH 14 OCTOBER - 21 NOVEMBER 2009

FOR FOR FURTHER INFO CONTACT PRESS@ALISONJACQUEGALLERY.COM
or + 44 (0)20 7631 4720







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