Charles McGill’s The Heads: 1986 at the Field Gallery
The Heads: 1986 an installation by Charles McGill opens Saturday, October 5 at the Field Gallery in Peekskill, NY. Presented in conjunction with the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, the series of early studies explore race and identity.
Alicia Morgan, curator of the Field Gallery describes The Heads: 1986 series as an exploration of “pride and power, disconnect and discontent. Beneath the suit, the business man, the athlete, the scholar, beyond assimilation—the black man is seen,” in McGill's words, as “a man who is expected to always know his place, despite his innate ambition. These were my first real paintings that exposed identity. They were breakthrough paintings—paintings from memory.” Morgan continues “In their unidentified, unblinking portraits, the heads notice, they observe warily, but their eyes remain shaded from view. Some tell a stereotypical story—minstrel, dancer, clown—roles more comfortable and easily identified. In one portrait, Misedoocayshun, the figure knows what he wants, and reaches, grasping. He knows to express it, but not how to spell it. In misspelling his desire, the need is urgent, but limited and defined by his role. In another, Pigskin, the head is a proud athlete, yet rendered grotesque. Reflected in the paintings are quick judgments, nightmare caricature, and uncomfortable truths: black men seen as unnerving and insolent.” The exhibition will be on view through November 17, 2013, with an opening reception on Saturday, October 5 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
Charles McGill, an adjunct professor of painting and drawing, is a working artist who has spent the last 20 plus years making and exhibiting his work professionally. His art work has been reviewed in The New York Times and Art in America and appears in several private and public collections. Charles is also a published illustrator. As an eclectic and versatile artist, his work runs the gamut from painting and drawing to performance-based media and sculpture. McGill holds a B.F.A., from the School of Visual Arts, a M.F.A., from Maryland Institute College of Art, and a residency at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
The Field Library Gallery is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 am–9:00 pm, Wednesday from 11:00 am–9:00 pm, Friday 9:00 am–5:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am–5:00 pm, and Sunday from 1:00–4:00 pm. Located at 4 Nelson Avenue, Peekskill, New York, the Gallery is on the mezzanine level of the main library, is wheelchair accessible. For further information visit peekskill.org, or call 914.862.3287.