Perrotin is pleased to present The Other Side, Barry McGee’s first exhibition with the gallery. Featuring a selection of new works, ephemera, and archival materials from the San Francisco-based artist, The Other Side showcases McGee’s ever-evolving, often humorous, imagery through his characteristic depictions of varied environments and social vernaculars. The show will also mark the artist’s first solo exhibition in the region, where part of his heritage lies. McGee, who is American-born, is of partial Chinese descent.
McGee is seen as a leading figure of the Mission School, an artistic movement that developed in San Francisco’s eponymous district in the 1990s. The artists associated with this movement took their influences from urban realism, Op Art, and American folk art, and placed a strong focus on community and social activism.
Throughout his career, McGee has assumed various artistic personas, usually in conjunction with monikers—Twist, Lydia Fong, Ray Pimple, among others. Through the confluence of these practices, McGee has developed an idiosyncratic and diverse visual language of stylized lettering, colorful geometric patterns, and recognizable faces. These elements pervade McGee’s paintings and drawings in their various renditions as multi-panel canvases, groupings of framed works, and the artist’s signature “boil” installation, comprised of hundreds of framed works bulging out from the gallery wall in a display of absurdity and abundance.
Known for creating immersive environments, McGee adopts a fluid and improvisational approach to his installations; each is unique to the architecture of its exhibition space. By incorporating an eclectic selection of media—painted surfboards, hand-thrown ceramics, obsolete television sets—and found objects sourced during his stay in Hong Kong, McGee demonstrates his organic and often unpredictable process of art making. The spontaneity of The Other Side is evocative of the artist’s ongoing dialogue with the neighborhoods in which he resides and his sustained interest in the distinctions between public and private spaces. The result is an inclusive experience that gives insight into McGee’s worldview and his artistic trajectory.
Born in San Francisco, California in 1966, Barry McGee received his BFA in painting and printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at museums and institutions worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, CA; Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA; Institute of Contemporary Art,, Boston, MA; and Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan. McGee’s works are included in public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco, CA; and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA.