Shaman, an exhibition by Charles McGill, opens on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at Pavel Zoubok Gallery in New York City.
McGill, a multidisciplinary artist and golf aficionado, his recent assemblages of reconstructed golf bags explore the intersections of race, class and politics. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, March 28, 2013 from 6:00–8:00 pm. The show closes Saturday, April 27, 2013.
Using golf bags as his raw material, artist McGill literally transforms the “baggage” of this iconic American sport into semi-abstract reliefs that evoke a visceral response through the physicality of their material—the vinyl and leather “skins” of repurposed golf bags, while simultaneously engaging a discourse on race, class and the politics of exclusion. McGill’s exploration into the subject and substance of golf began in the late 1990s with provocative performance works set in urban neighborhoods and aptly titled The Artifacts from the Former Black Militant Golf and Country Club. The works, which featured McGill in flamboyant golfer’s regalia literally and figuratively playing with racist stereotypes, were followed by a series of “beautified” golf bags collaged all over with images from mass culture.
In his recent series, Skinned, McGill completely deconstructs found golf bags, assembling them into sculptural forms that often include figural references. The violent process of ripping, cutting and twisting his material, which the artist compares to butchering and skinning an animal, gives formal and metaphorical intensity to his compositions. Who are these hooded “figures”? Are they Monks? Shamans? Klansmen? The uniformity of their presentation clearly suggests that they are followers, not leaders. This is as much as McGill will concede. The comment was recently made that golf has as much to do with Charles McGill’s art as driving a car does to the sculptures of John Chamberlain. Like the best socially engaged art, the “message” is in the material. And so we are left with more questions than answers, left to ponder the complexities of a world in which our skins define us before we define ourselves. Video of the Shaman opening at Pavel Zoubok Gallery can be seen on YouTube and on ArtInfo.com.
Charles McGill has exhibited in numerous galleries and museums, including the Wadsworth Atheneum, Lehman College Art Gallery and The Baltimore Museum of Art. His performances, sculptures and installations have met with critical praise from The New York Times, Art in America, The International Review of African American Art, The Brooklyn Rail and Artnet Magazine. He has been awarded grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and Art Matters, and was recently a Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and “Artist in Residence” at the Museum of Arts and Design.
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.
Pavel Zoubok Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 am–6:00 pm, and is located at 531 West 26th Street, 2nd Floor (between 10th & 11th Avenues), in New York City. For more information, visit pavelzoubok.com, or call 212.675.7490.