Perrotin Tokyo is pleased to announce Potato Sack Body, its first solo exhibition by Barry McGee, following his immersive show in the gallery's Hong Kong space in 2019. Incorporating an eclectic selection of media, McGee presents an iconography that underlines the complexity of urban life, depicted in the forms of vibrant patterns, stylised acronyms, sullen-faced caricatures, and other signature motifs, in a colourful exploration of the human condition.
Based in San Francisco, McGee is associated with the Mission School, an artistic movement with influences from American folk art, Op art, and urban realism, that encompasses the spirit of urban culture and its strong sense of community. Taking inspiration from the city he calls home, as well as the places he has resided in throughout his artistic career, McGee constructs site-specific installations that evoke his playful investigations into space and the unending dialogue between art and life.
With an assemblage of multi-panel paintings, framed works, individually painted ceramics and bottles, repurposed found objects, and columns of photography and drawings, McGee confers an extraordinary versatility and an inclusive approach to art. The wide array of elements also evokes a sense of community and diversity that could be seen typical of the Bay area from which he hails.
As an artist who thrives on improvisation, McGee experiments with juxtapositions and resonances between imagery and material within his built environments. Projecting a sense of the collective, they correspond to McGee's concept of art as a collaborative and unifying endeavour beyond the sole genius of the artist.
Barry McGee was born in San Francisco, California in 1966. He 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; the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; The New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK; and Fondazione Prada, Venice, Italy.
In the spirit of McGee's emphasis on community and engagement, Perrotin's newly launched project space will be transformed into a special interactive installation room over the course of the exhibition. Designed as a 'Relax & Rejuvenation Room,' 106RRR showcases the artist's diverse visual lexicon as it intersects with Japanese aesthetics, offering visitors a unique immersion into the artist's relationship with Japan.
The release of McGee's new zine completes the show's offerings. A collection of personal photography, prints, and drawings, the zine sheds light on the artist's unique worldview and fascinations.
Perrotin is also pleased to announce a collaboration between Barry McGee and BEAMS to release a range of limited edition merchandise featuring McGee's signature motifs. From February 1 to 16, BEAMS will open a pop-up store in its Harajuku flagship, where the products will be available for purchase. More information is available on the website.
Press release courtesy Perrotin.