Our exhibition for the Independent re-introduces the work of the Scottish painter Moyna Flannigan to a New York Audience. America played an important role in Flannigan's early career in the mid 1980s, studying on the same MFA course at Yale as John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage (graduating a year after them in 1987) and this present body of work Matter, with its references to the Kennedy assassination, the writings of the American feminist Betty Friedan and the death of Marilyn Monroe, feels like an especially apposite presentation with which to return.
Flannigan's paintings of figures, always women, are an amalgam of memories, experiences and ideas, drawn from history, mythology and popular culture. Their identity or essence remains ambiguous, as if they were passing through, or suspended just out of reach. Notes of incidental humour are balanced by a darker, almost melancholic, sensibility which unifies the different parts into a new narrative, with women at the centre of a story that spans both ancient and modern worlds.
This presentation at the Independent follows on from the artist's first solo exhibition at Ingleby, MATTER (2021), and her recent exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, which furthered Flannigan's investigation into the materials and methods of collage. It continues a working practice that often begins by chance - with the artist cutting up her own drawings and re-using the abstract body parts to create a new order from the original components – which is, in part, an attempt to understand the fragmentary way we experience and process a world permeated with an oversaturation of images and information.
Click here to view a film with Moyna Flannigan discussing a work made for her solo exhibition MATTER at Ingleby in 2021.